James Dolan reiterates he could block MSG alcohol sales in fight for facial recognition
The gloves are still off for James Dolan in his battle with state liquor regulators.
The Madison Square Garden CEO again threatened to ban alcohol sales at an upcoming Rangers game in hopes thirsty fans would vent their anger on state liquor officials trying to stop its use of facial recognition software.
“I don’t think I would ban beer at Rangers games, but maybe,” he told WFAN radio on Friday, a day after pitching the idea in an interview with Fox 5.
When the hosts of the Carton and Roberts show said such a ban would likely anger fans at him and not the State Liquor Authority, Dolan appeared to double down, even repeating SLA CEO Sharif Kabir’s phone number.
“We obviously want to sell alcohol at every event, right, at Madison Square Garden,” he said.
“The [State Liquor Authority] threatens us with our ability to do that, now with you as a fan, would you rather have a alcohol free day that will allow us to save ourselves from losing an entire season of alcohol or do you want us to have an entire season lose?
The move comes months after the SLA suggested MSG could lose its ability to sell alcohol at Rangers and Knicks games if Dolan doesn’t stop using facial recognition software to ban opponents.
Dolan has faced increasing criticism in recent months after at least four lawyers from MSG and Radio City Music Hall were disfellowshipped for working for firms involved in litigation against MSG, whether or not they were personally involved.
“I recognize that facial recognition software can help secure large venues, but Mr. Dolan misused this technology to fuel his personal vendettas – not to make games safer,” Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal wrote in a letter dated March 27. January to the commissioners of the NBA and NHL.
“I beg your two organizations to use your power and discipline on MSG and Mr. Dolan for these alarming abuses unless they stop immediately profiling fans with facial recognition technology for non-security purposes,” he added.
Dolan said there are no immediate plans to withhold alcohol from Rangers fans at games, but reserves the right to make such a move at a time of his choosing.
“There’s no plan for that at this point, alright?” he said. “The beer is safe and waiting for you.”
However, he repeated his threat to put up signs with Kabir’s picture and number near beer stands in the area, which he first floated during an interview with Fox.
https://nypost.com/2023/01/27/james-dolan-repeats-he-might-nix-msg-alcohol-sales-amid-facial-recognition-fight/ James Dolan reiterates he could block MSG alcohol sales in fight for facial recognition