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!!!!!!!!
Also, in the interest of looking on the bright side, I believe the away team has won something like all but 2 of the 10-ish outdoor games the NHL has played in the past half dozen or so years. I think the win more than makes up for not getting the Yankees' swanky locker room.
@evansalveson well that explains it!
Sure the city would love to get their hands on an extra 18 mil a year, probably explains why the city was reportedly against renewing MSG's lease last summer.
in recent years, politicians have been trying to get that tax exemption taken away from MSG. but Dolan is able to hire the best lawyers and has Sheldon Silver on his side because Dolan helped destroy the West Side stadium plans.
@TheNYRBlog that means theyll never get a winter classic game in NY against anyone but the isles or devils
My guess is that since property taxes are a local thing, the home-game exemption would be invalidated for other "home" games played within NYC. That would potentially explain why the European home game(s) had no effect on the status of MSG.
I'm confused? So there will never be a winter classic in NY for the Rangers? That's garbage... I really wanted a Rangers Bruins game.
@TheNYRBlog so no home winter classic huh?
@TheNYRBlog given how they play at home this season..being the away team here may help.
@TheNYRBlog good info Kevin!
@TheNYRBlog Kevin - I dont like this stretch with 1 game v Debbies and 2 v Islanders
@TheNYRBlog We played home games in Europe, though, a couple years ago.
@TheNYRBlog that means no home winter classic ever
I've seen that stat, too. A lot of people theorize that it has to do with the Classic being on January 1st, and the home team has more going on the night before with friends and family, while the away team is just those 20 guys in a hotel. But to see it carry over to games not on the 1st, and also to "neutral site" games (despite being the away team, you have to think the Rangers were more exposed to the lead up in the City than the Devils over in Newark), just an odd stat.
@KreiderisTheChosenOne Yeah, there should have been a little bit more reporting done on this story. No answer to why Rangers were allowed to be "home" team in Europe in 2008.
@mobilope Doesn't look like it. Although, not sure info is correct because Rangers played "home" game in Europe in 2008.
@TheSandmanEsq@TheNYRBlog Right? Hopefully we score like we're on the road.
@GardenFaithfull Apparently both those European games were road games for the Rangers.
@GardenFaithfull That's a good point. Maybe because it was overseas it's different.
@Dgimbz Hmmmm, that's a good question.
@TheNYRBlog unlessthe Europe games don't count because they are outside of the USA
@TheNYRBlog Not that it particularly matters, it just doesn't make sense unless there was some unreported exception.
@TheNYRBlog It seems like that reporting wasn't particularly thorough... I'm going with the Isles and Devils need attendance help. =P
@TheNYRBlog I am too! Thanks =]
@GardenFaithfull I'm actually interested in the answer. Going to tweet reporter. I'll let you know.
Yes 2011 against Anaheim and LA were road games. 2008 or 2009 we opened in Prague against Tampa. One of those games were home.