New York Liberty are on the market, James Dolan announces

The WNBA’s NY Liberty, currently owned by the Madison Square Garden Company, are for sale. The company is the controlling entity of the New York Knicks and their D-League crew, the Westchester Knicks, and also Madison Square Garden and the New York Rangers.

“This was a difficult decision for all of us, which we made after carefully assessing the needs of our business,” said James Dolan, who runs the business. “We are assured that different ownership can build on the foundation we established over these previous 21 years, and steward this outstanding franchise into an even more successful future.”

Since Dolan has decided to sell the Liberty, though, they won’t be under his purview a lot longer.

The Liberty were one of the original eight teams that started out when the WNBA was founded in 1997, and they’ve played at Madison Square Garden ever since. Of these original eight, only three teams remain and continue to operate within their original city: the Liberty, the Phoenix Mercury, and the LA Sparks.

Last season, the Liberty produced the playoffs, led by Tina Charles and lost to the Mercury in the second rounded. They’ve produced the playoffs in 15 of their 21 seasons.

After the Liberty are sold, only half of the teams in the WNBA will be owned by NBA teams. However, due to the New York media market, the Liberty presumably would not be shifted by any purchasing entity.

The Liberty’s average attendance last season was 9,724, the second most in the league. This year 2010, they averaged almost 11,000 admirers per contest, the most in the little league and a figure that hasn’t been matched by any crew since.

The full news release is below.

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