James Dolan Defends Use Of Facial Recognition & Says He May Ban Liquor At MSG In Wild Interview


James Dolan Defends Use Of Facial Recognition & Says He May Ban Liquor At MSG In Wild Interview


We all know that New York Knicks owner James Dolan isn’t exactly known as someone who appreciates criticism.

Dolan previously had fans thrown out of the arena for chanting ‘sell the team’ or other chants directed at him. The fans though, are in great company, as not only other fans have had similar destinies, but also Knicks legends and celebrities, such as Charles Oakley and Ethan Hawke.

But Dolan’s pettiness seems to reach new levels every time and it appears that he doesn’t like lawyers doing their job either.

In October, Madison Square Garden Entertainment banned a lawyer and revoked his Knicks season tickets he had since the 1970s, because he represents clients who are suing Madison Square Garden.

In fact all 60 of his firm’s lawyers got terminally banned from every game, concert and other event at its venues.

In the meantime, this has indeed led to an attorney getting kicked out of a Knicks game. Lawyer Alexis Majano for example, revealed that he was flagged by facial recognition technology at the Garden, as soon as he was headed into the game against the Celtics with his friends, he was stopped on an escalator.

In a pretty wild interview with Fox 5 NY, James Dolan now spoke about MSG’s facial recognition policy for the first time and downplayed its use and seriousness.


“Facial recognition is just a technology. I mean, when I walked into the studio, did you recognize my face? Facial recognition. Technology just makes you better at it. The real issue that’s going on here is our policy of not letting attorneys who are suing us into our building until they’re done suing us….”

“It’s not only business. If you’ve been sued you know that it’s a personal thing. At Madison Square Garden, if you’re suing us, we’re just asking you: ‘Please don’t come until you’re done with your argument.’ And yes, we’re using facial recognition to enforce that. … What facial recogntion does is recognizes your face and says are you someone who’s on this list.

“It’s very, very useful for security. In fact, Madison Square Garden, I believe, is the most secure venue in the country. … A bakery, a restaurant, you get to say who you serve for whatever reason.

“If there is someone you don’t want to serve, you get to say I don’t want to serve you and if it’s somebody who is suing you or put you out of business or take your money from you, you have a right to be a little unhappy about it.”



Later in the interview, Dolan threatened to stop Alcohol sales at MSG, over a feud with the State Liquor Authority, that relates back to his facial recognition usage:


“They’re being extremely aggressive. They’re saying: ‘We’re going to take away your liquor license.’ So I have a little surprise for them because they’re basically doing this for publicity. So we’re going to give them some publicity. What we’re going to do is we’re going to pick a night, maybe a Rangers game, and we’re going to shut down all the liquor and alcohol in the building. Now this isn’t going to bother me because I’ve been sober 29 years. I don’t need the liquor.

“If you’re grandstanding with the press and threatening my liquor license, I’m going to tell you, ‘You know what? Go ahead. Take away my liquor license.’ People are still going to come to the games. We don’t make all our money on alcohol. Like I said, I’m sober. I’m not a big alcohol fan.”



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