The Madison Square Garden Company ($MSG) is being spun off, and Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. will have a new CEO. Andrew Lustgarten was named as the new President/CEO in-waiting and will take over the sports division of the company, as James Dolan will still oversee the entertainment division.
The move will allow the world's most famous arena to be run as two separate entities, which should help maintain a high level of talent coming into the venue to put on events, and still be home to the Knicks, Rangers, Liberty, and eSports.
“We look forward to the pending separation of our sports and entertainment businesses, which will better enable the two companies to pursue their own unique strategies while providing our shareholders with the ability to more clearly assess the value of each company." - Madison Square Garden Company owner James Dolan
This news happened at a curious time because the Knicks recently announced its lowest attended game in 13 years. Attendance at MSG is one of the best in the whole NBA typically, so it's notable that there's been a drop in the last four years of games for the team.
We're able to track the number of people who check-in on Facebook that they 'Were Here' at MSG, and the amount has dropped year-over-year since 2016. This matches up with the reported crowd size and the declining rates seen over the past few seasons. Despite the fixed number of seats, the growth is just not there for in-person events.
A similar story can be seen in our other social media data; MSG's Twitter following is also down year-over-year, although there's been a slight uptick in the past six months.
The Facebook Likes chart mirrors the 'Were Here' count almost to a tee, which means people are clearly only liking the venue once they go and see something there they like. If fewer people do that, they're less inclined to give MSG a like on Facebook, common sense dictates.
You don't need to see a YoY chart to notice that the 'Talking About' Count has been down these last five years as well, falling 85% since its high point.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.