The Knicks are making the playoffs pay off: With the glow of Knicks first postseason appearance in seven years potentially fading tomorrow, Madison Square Garden is quickly capitalizing, raising ticket prices for next season–including on loyal fans who already re-upped.
“This is an exciting time for Knicks basketball and we are thrilled to be back in the playoffs! Your passion and support have been extremely important to the team’s success this season, and we are grateful for your loyalty,” said a May 28 email from the team, which was seen by Sportico. “You have already secured your membership for the 2021-22 season and therefore no further action is required on your part. Your payment plan will be updated to reflect this pricing…. As always, you can rest assured in the knowledge that our best prices are reserved for Season Ticket Members.”
The email said it was the team’s first season-ticket price increase in seven years.
In confirming that all ticket holders are seeing their fees increase, an MSG Sports spokesperson wrote in an email: “Our fans are very important to us and we appreciate their loyalty, now more than ever. This decision balances the needs of our business with our continued commitment to provide our fans with a memorable entertainment experience, while building on the positive momentum the Knicks have shown on the court this season.”
After a long stretch of mediocre teams, the Knicks are playing in their first NBA playoffs since the 2012-2013 season, ending their longest period without springtime basketball since the 1960s. While the team trails three games to one in a best of seven series against the Atlanta Hawks, fan enthusiasm is high. The Garden has sold out for tomorrow’s game, despite the extra hassle of fans having to present a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to attend. Some 16,000 tickets are sold for the game, the maximum under current pandemic-adjusted capacity. The team expects to sell only seats to vaccinated persons if the Knicks advance, the team said in a press release Friday.
The Knicks are owned by publicly traded Madison Square Garden Sports, a parent company that also owns the NHL’s Rangers. Ticket sales go to the MSG Sports. Madison Square Garden Entertainment, a separate public company that operates the arena, shares revenue from suite, food, beverage and merchandise with MSG Sports.
“We know this has been an unusual year, and we have appreciated your flexibility and willingness to do what it takes to be with the Knicks at The Garden—you have made all the difference,” the team said in its email announcing the increase. The team has language in its season ticket contract that notes prices may increase in the future and that fans have the option to change their ticket plan or opt out of renewal when changes are announced. In this case, fans who wish to cancel their tickets have to contact the club by June 11, according to the email.
(This article has been updated to indicate this was the Knicks’ first season-ticket increase in seven years, and with additional details about revenue sharing among the companies.)