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WNBA fans can buy a piece of the New York Liberty
Did you know you can become a part owner in the New York Liberty franchise of the WNBA? The New York Liberty franchise is owned by the Madison Square Garden (MSG) company. MSG owns the actual Madison Square Garden arena in New York City. In addition to the Liberty, MSG also owns the New York Knicks in the NBA, and the New York Rangers in the NHL.
MSG is a Public Company
MSG is a publicly traded company. It trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MSG. There are around 75 million shares outstanding. The current price for the stock is around $25.00. So the entire MSG company is valued at around $1.875 billion.
Anyone buying shares in MSG is effectively buying a part of the New York Liberty. So if you want to own a piece of the Liberty, you can simply buy shares in MSG.
The New York Liberty are my favorite WNBA team. I've been a fan of the team since the WNBA first started playing back in 1997. At that time, MSG was owned by cable giant Cablevision. Cablevision is also a publicly traded company, so throughout the history of the Liberty, anyone could own a piece of the team by buying shares in Cablevision (CVC).
In 2010, Cablevision spun off MSG, making it its own publicly traded company. Cablevision is a much larger company than MSG is, so the spin off makes it a little easier to own a piece of the Liberty, since MSG has fewer assets.
Are the New York Liberty a Good Buy?
Over the first 14 years of the WNBA, the New York Liberty averaged 11,926 fans per home game at Madison Square Garden. That is the second best attendance of any WNBA team, trailing only the Washington Mystics, who averaged 12,328 fans per home game. So the Liberty have one of the largest fan bases in the league.
The WNBA now has a TV deal in place that pays rights fees from ESPN, and the deal runs through 2016. Financial details for the deal are scarce, but its believed the league generates millions of dollars from the TV deal.
Teams in the WNBA operate with a fixed salary cap in place. In 2011, the Liberty, and all WNBA teams, have to each spend at least $819,000 on salaries, and can spend no more than $852,000. So labor costs are pretty much stable and fixed.
Overall, the Liberty are likely one of the most valuable franchises in the WNBA. It's quite possible the Liberty are the most valuable franchise in the league.
Should Anyone Invest in MSG Stock?
If you buy MSG stock you also get ownership in two other great franchises in the Knicks and Rangers, plus ownership in one of the greatest sporting arenas in the world. All of which is a nice kicker for anyone who wants to own a piece of the Liberty. Personally, I do not own any MSG stock, but would consider buying some if the price falls.
Whether or not anyone should buy MSG stock is a personal decision, but anyone who wants to own a piece of the New York Liberty can do so by buying MSG stock.
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