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Volume 20 No. 42
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MSG working on action sports event for NYC

Madison Square Garden Inc. is working on plans for New York City’s first major BMX and skateboard event, to be held in 2012, after several years of investigating action sports opportunities in the city.

The company is in negotiations with the city to get the required permits and approval for the event. When that will be finalized is unclear. MSG has hired ASA Entertainment, an action sports event and television production company, to assist with developing and producing the event, which would take place in early summer 2012. Plans currently call for it to be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, and it is expected to be an action sports festival with skate and BMX pros as well as live music.

MSG is planning to hold a BMX and skateboard demo in Times Square on May 20. The company originally planned to announce its plans for 2012 at that time, but it decided to postpone the announcement until it secured the necessary city permits.

An MSG spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s plans in action sports, but said, “We are always exploring growth opportunities across all areas of our company. As new opportunities develop we will announce them at the appropriate time.”

The 2012 event would be managed by the sports division led by Scott O’Neil, but would be a companywide initiative that incorporates its cable networks MSG, MSG Plus and Fuse. The networks have previously broadcast action sports events like “Red Bull Snowscrapers,” a 2009 snowboard competition along the East River, and BMX rider Kevin Robinson’s attempt to set the world record on a BMX bike by soaring to the height of nearly six stories in 2008.

New York has a strong BMX and skate community, but no multisport event organizer has tried to bring a competition to the city. The Maloof Money Cup held a skateboard-only competition in Flushing Meadows Park in 2010, and plans to return this year.