NY bill would stop MSG from kicking out enemy lawyers

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ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Metropolis’s Madison Sq. Backyard and different sports activities venues could be barred from refusing entry to perceived enemies of their homeowners underneath a invoice launched to the state Legislature Monday.

The proposed laws comes after the corporate that owns the famed Backyard and different notable venues, together with Radio Metropolis Music Corridor, instituted a coverage of stopping ticket holders from coming into in the event that they work for any legislation agency concerned in litigation towards the corporate.

It has enforced the rule by revoking tickets and utilizing facial-recognition expertise to establish, after which bounce, individuals who attempt to attend occasions.

In November, the corporate used the expertise to cease a New Jersey mother from accompanying her daughter on a Girl Scouts field trip to see a Rockettes vacation present at Radio Metropolis Music Corridor.

An lawyer who has owned New York Knicks season tickets for almost 50 years sued MSG Entertainment in October, saying he and almost 60 attorneys from his agency have been barred from the corporate’s properties.

The invoice would amend a long-standing state legislation by including “sporting occasions” to the checklist of public locations of leisure that can’t refuse entry to those that arrive with a legitimate ticket. The legislation was initially meant to cease Broadway venues from barring theater critics they didn’t like.

The proposal doesn’t immediately deal with the problem of utilizing facial-recognition expertise to display patrons, however invoice sponsors mentioned the follow was out of bounds.

“It’s ridiculous {that a} company boss can use this expertise to discriminate,” mentioned Meeting member Tony Simone, a Manhattan Democrat.

MSG Leisure has defended its exclusion coverage, saying it’s good coverage to maintain its authorized adversaries out of its venues. It mentioned the invoice’s sponsors have been siding with “attorneys representing ticket scalpers and different cash grabbers.”

“The facial recognition expertise system doesn’t retain photos of people, excluding those that have been beforehand suggested they’re prohibited from coming into our venues, or whose earlier misconduct in our venues has recognized them as a safety danger,” an MSG Leisure spokesperson mentioned in an e mail.

A decide granted one banned lawyer, Larry Hutcher, a partial victory in November, saying he and different attorneys at his agency have the precise to attend musical and theatrical performances on the Backyard, Radio Metropolis Music Corridor, and the Beacon Theater in the event that they confirmed up with a legitimate ticket.

That ruling didn’t apply to New York Knicks or New York Rangers video games on the Backyard.

“MSG claims they deploy biometric expertise for the good thing about public security once they take away sports activities followers from the Backyard,” sponsoring state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, a Manhattan Democrat, mentioned in a ready assertion. “That is absurd on condition that in no less than 4 reported instances, the patrons who have been booted from their venues posed no safety menace and as an alternative have been attorneys at corporations representing purchasers in litigation with MSG.”

Maysoon Khan is a corps member for the Related Press/Report for America Statehouse Information Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points. Comply with Maysoon Khan on Twitter.

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