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DOES LOSS OF RILEY MEAN TOUGH TIMES FOR FAMOUS KNICKS FANS?
Published February 15, 1996
The "cachet of Knicks home games is fading fast now that Viacom has sold the Garden to ITT/Cablevision," according to Landman & Mitchell of NEW YORK magazine. Seats on the floor that were occupied by such notables as Madonna, Billy Crystal and others "are now peopled with unfamiliar faces atop suited bodies" -- while "more illustrious fans" are pushed back six or seven rows "tending to mitigate the excitement of their presence." Sources say the new MSG owners regard to famous ticketholders as "freeloaders" and "even discussed plans to turn the former VIP suite into a $20,000 per-year private membership club." Thorn EMI-Capitol Head Charles Koppelman: "The crowd seems to have less star power now. It definitely seems more corporate if you look around." Spike Lee: "The vibe has changed. Knicks games are not as loud as they used to be" (NEW YORK, 2/19).