James Dolan Threatens to Not Serve Booze at Rangers Game Amid Dispute With State Liquor Authority
Skip to main content

Join our newsletter to get daily gin deals sent straight to your email!


More to Enjoy

  • Whiskey Raiders
  • Tequila Raiders
  • Rum Raiders

‘I Have a Little Surprise for Them’: Madison Square Garden CEO Threatens to Not Serve Booze at Rangers Game Amid Dispute With State Liquor Authority

New York Knicks owner James Dolan, left, and John McEnroe watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, in New York. (Photo: AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

An upcoming Rangers game may be without booze as Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan threatens to stop alcohol sales in response to the New York State Liquor Authority’s alleged attempts to take away his liquor license.

The liquor-license feud comes following Dolan’s use of facial recognition software to stop certain lawyers from entering the New York City venue. Regarding his controversial use of facial recognition, Dolan made an appearance on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York” on Thursday. When questioned about the SLA contacting him, Dolan replied: “They’re being extremely aggressive, and they’re saying ‘We’re going to take away your liquor license.'”

“So, I have a little surprise for them.”

“They’re basically doing this for publicity, so we’re gonna give ‘em some publicity,” Dolan continued. “What we’re gonna do, right, is we’re gonna pick a night, maybe a Rangers game, and we’re gonna shut down all the liquor and alcohol in the building.”

“This isn’t gonna bother me because I’ve been sober 29 years. I don’t need the liquor.”

Dolan then proceeded to pull out a handmade paper flyer that would be placed near areas that serve liquor. The paper displays an image of Sharif Kabir, the CEO of the New York SLA, alongside his contact information.

Dolan holds up a flyer with Sharif Kabir’s image and contact information while on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York” on Jan. 26, 2023. (Photo: Fox 5 New York)

Dolan explained that the sign would ask visitors to contact Kabir if they would like to drink at a game.

“Tell him to stick to his knitting and to what he’s supposed to be doing and stop grandstanding and trying to get press,” added Dolan.

In December 2022, the SLA released a statement indicating that Dolan’s company, MSG Entertainment, could lose its liquor license after it implemented a ban on lawyers. The ban prevents lawyers employed by firms representing plaintiffs suing MSG — or its affiliates — from entering MSGE venues. While the ban could be considered a form of discrimination, the company has the right to refuse to sell tickets to certain people, according to a November court ruling.

According to an affidavit, MSGE’s facial recognition software prevented a lawyer from being able to attend a concert. After refusing to present identification, she was escorted out of the venue — as the technology had already identified her.

Read next:

Woman Sues Bar That Served Her Alcohol After Drunk Driving Incident Caused $10M House Explosion

‘No More Beer Runs’: ID-Activated Booze Doors at Gas Station Spark Online Controversy

Top 5 Mixers to Use in Snoop Dogg’s Famous ‘Gin and Juice’ Cocktail

Here at Gin Raiders, we do more than write about current events in gin and spirits. We are the only media property reviewing gins and aggregating the scores and reviews of other significant voices in the gin world in one place. If you’re interested in getting a shot of gin in your morning email, sign up for our Deal of the Day newsletter.

This post may contain affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site. This helps support Gin Raiders at no additional cost to you.

Filed Under:

Follow Gin Raiders:

Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping an extra-dry martini while painting or relaxing by the pool with a thrilling mystery novel.