Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) Officially Sets Sail

Madison Square Garden façade

Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) has officially started trading as a standalone company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The division’s debut on the public market follows a long-in-the-works plan to split off MSG’s entertainment branch from Madison Square Garden Sports, the new name of what was formerly the Madison Square Garden Company.

At the time of this writing, Madison Square Garden Entertainment, traded under the symbol MSGE, was hovering around $71 per share. Madison Square Garden Sports (MSGS), for its part, was enjoying a nearly 10 percent price increase on the day, to about $186 per share.

Andrew Lustgarten, who spent the better part of a decade working for the NBA in an executive capacity, is serving as MSG Entertainment’s president. And veteran executive Mark FitzPatrick, who most recently offered his services as chief financial officer (CFO) at WeWork, has been named MSG Entertainment’s executive vice president and CFO.

MSG Sports expects to keep its existing executive team in place.

Plans to separate MSG’s sports and entertainment divisions can be traced back to 2018, though the move was finalized just last Friday, April 17th. 93-year-old billionaire and business magnate Charles Dolan, along with members of his family, own substantial portions of the Madison Square Garden Company. Additionally, Charles’s son James currently serves as MSG Entertainment’s CEO.

Addressing his company’s split and market premier, James Dolan said: “While the current environment presents significant challenges to our industry, we are confident in the future, and look forward to MSG Entertainment building on its reputation as a leader in live experiences.”

Needless to say, the spinoff and rebranding initiative—as well as the endeavor’s stock-price success—has arrived at a relatively low point for the overall market. At the time of this writing, the S&P 500 was down nearly 50 points and two percent on the day, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues to damage the economy.

From a high of nearly $3,400 in late February, the S&P fell to roughly $2,200, but has since climbed back to about $2,800.