Since it was announced that the Rangers were going to be participating in the two Stadium Series games at Yankees Stadium, I've been asked by numerous readers why the Blueshirts are the visiting team in both games despite being played in New York City.
I had just assumed it was to keep the Rangers from losing the revenue from two home games.
However, Jeff Z. Klein at the New York Times tells us the real reason is to help preserve a special property tax exemption that Madison Square Garden has been receiving since 1982…
A provision of that 1982 agreement stipulates that if the Rangers or the Knicks play a home game outside the Garden, the exemption is forfeited. The city’s Independent Budget Office said last fall that the exemption was worth $17.3 million in fiscal 2014. The 1982 state law granting the Garden a pass on paying taxes stated it “shall continue with respect to such property as long as both of said teams play their home games therein and no longer.”
The law went on to say, “If one or both of said teams shall cease to play their home games in said property at any time, the tax exemption provided herein shall cease immediately and said property shall immediately be restored to the tax rolls.”
Klein adds that the NHL has a financial interest in the Rangers being the visiting team as well…
The league controls the staging and revenue of the outdoor games it organizes, and therefore reimburses the home team for a lost date at its regular arena.
Because the Rangers always sell out Madison Square Garden at substantially higher ticket prices than the Devils charge at Prudential Center or the Islanders charge at Nassau Coliseum, reimbursing the Rangers for a lost home date would cost the N.H.L. substantially more money.
According to Klein, the league saves more than $1 million per game by reimbursing the Devils or the Islanders for a lost home date rather than the Rangers.
…so wait, the reason the Rangers are the away team in New York City comes down to money? I don't believe it. If I know the Dolans, the last thing on their minds is making money. It's all about the fan experience and winning championships. LOL!!!!!!!!