On March 10, 2014 the NBA Development League and The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) joined Westchester County officials to announce that the Knicks D-League Team will make Westchester County Center in White Plains their home. The agreement is for May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2019. MSG has the option to renew for an additional five years.
As a legislator who wholeheartedly supported this agreement I was sure to be on hand to welcome the Knicks to Westchester County Center. Also as the Board of Legislators representative on the County’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board it was a pleasure to support Parks Commissioner O’Connor who oversees the operations at the County Center.
The Knicks are already present in Westchester with their training facility in Greenburg. Having the ability to now use the Development League team for rehab assignments of injured Knick players and giving coaches the ability to closely observe players that may end up in the NBA.
The Knicks’ Assistant General Manager Allan Houston will become the new team’s General Manager and Bill Boyce joins the MSG organization from the NBA D-League Texas Legends to become the team’s Vice President of Sales and Business Operations. “We are very excited to bring a New York Knicks NBA Development League franchise to Westchester, a great basketball community that has embraced orange and blue and served as our training home for 25 plus years,” said Houston. “The NBA D-League is thriving, and this opportunity allows us to develop players closer to our training facility, and to provide high level, affordable basketball entertainment to the community.”
This is an exciting addition to Westchester and will bring significant revenue to the county. The county projects to net between $2,000 and $12,000 a game, or $48,000 to $288,000 per season, not including the playoffs. The agreement carries no risk for taxpayers and has a big upside as attendance and revenues from parking, tickets, food, merchandise, and advertising sales grows.
Westchester has a rich basketball history with many high school players over the years going on to become notable college and NBA players. Peekskill for example, has Elton Brand playing in the NBA today. Another Peekskill graduate, Hilton Armstrong, presently plays for the Golden State Warriors’ D-League Team the Santa Cruz Warriors and could end up playing against the new Knicks team in Westchester.
It is important to recognize that over 30 percent of present NBA players, including five current Knicks players have spent time in the NBA D-League. More that 40 percent of NBA drafted players over the last five years have played in the NBA D-League at one time or another. So it is safe to say we will be able to witness professional level basketball in Westchester for an affordable price and in our own back yard.
The name of the team has yet to be determined and will be announced soon. Fans can submit suggestions for the team name or place a deposit on season tickets by going to nyknicksdleague.com. The team affiliations and schedules for the 2014-15 season will be announced this summer.