SBJ/March 14-20, 2011/Facilities

Diaz heads across town to Garden

Madison Square Garden Sports has hired Alex Diaz, general manager of the Barclays Center, to be senior vice president and general manager of its facilities operations, which include Madison Square Garden and the Theater at MSG.

MSG Sports officials confirmed the hire but declined to comment. Diaz is expected to join the organization sometime before March 25.

Diaz, 37, now holds the title of senior vice president and general manager of the Barclays Center, the planned home of the New Jersey Nets, which is slated to open in Brooklyn in the summer of 2012. Diaz declined to comment.

According to the Nets’ website, Diaz joined the organization in February 2006 as general manager of arena operations and was the liaison with the team’s temporary home, the Prudential Center in Newark. For the Barclays Center project, Diaz contributed to the arena’s design and the creation of its standard operating procedures. He also oversaw the May 2008 opening of the Barclays Center Showroom in Manhattan, the arena’s sales and marketing center for suites and sponsorships. Arena construction began in March 2010.

Before joining the Nets, Diaz was senior vice president of the Miami Heat and general manager of AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.

Nets officials declined to comment.

At MSG, Diaz will oversee the arena’s day-to-day operations and will report to Steve Collins, MSG Sports executive vice president of facilities, who formerly held Diaz’s position. His hiring comes as Madison Square Garden begins its more than $977 million renovation plan, which is expected to be completed in 2013.

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