Delta Flies As Official Airline Of Madison Square Garden

Delta Air Lines has inked a deal to become the official airline of Madison Square Garden, as well as the first "signature partner" of the renovated Garden.

Under the multiyear pact, terms of which were not disclosed, Delta will have a custom-branded and significant presence across all MSG properties, including its venues; professional sports teams, the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty; television networks and collection of Web sites.

Delta also will be an official partner of college basketball and the concert series at MSG, and have an integrated presence on MSG network and across the Garden's collection of Web sites, blogs and social networks.

The deal comes as the varied  MSG assets prepare to be spun-off from parent Cablevision Systems Corp.

The signature element: Delta-branded space at all of  MSG's sports and entertainment venues in the country, including Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the WaMu Theater at MSG and the Beacon Theatre in New York City, as well as The Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre in Boston.

In the newly renovated Garden, Delta, as a signature partner, will showcase a themed event level club that includes a view of players as they walk onto the court/ice, specialized menus, and world-class amenities.

The MSG renovation will be a comprehensive, top-to-bottom transformation of the interior of the building that will enhance the experience for customers, athletes, entertainers, fans and partners. MSG is paying for the renovation itself and it will generate thousands of construction jobs. The lower bowl of the arena is expected to be ready for the 2011-2012 seasons, and the upper bowl for the 2012-2013 seasons.

"We are delighted to welcome Delta into the Madison Square Garden family as the new official airline across all of our divisions, and the first marketing partner tied to the upcoming Garden renovation," said Hank Ratner, vice chairman, Madison Square Garden, in a statement. "This is an exciting time to be a part of Madison Square Garden, and we will look to align with partners like Delta that share our vision for delivering great experiences and service to our fans and customers."

"Delta's new relationship with Madison Square Garden allows us to continue supporting venues, events and organizations that make New York the capital of the world, especially at a time when Delta is committed to being the preferred airline for New Yorkers," said Gail Grimmett, senior vice president-New York for Delta Air Lines "Delta is honored to be the Official Airline of MSG and all its venues - including the renovated Garden -- as we become part of the pulse of New York City."

Earlier this year, Delta became the official airline of the New York Mets and Yankees, with Delta Sky360 hospitality venues at both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. Delta also sponsors the New York City Wine & Food Festival, as well as the Tribeca Film Festival.

The carrier recently announced plans to create a domestic hub at La Guardia Airport, and has completed more than $70 million in upgrades at JFK terminals 2 and 3, according to officials at the airline.