Madison Square Garden Co. Says Payment Card System Was Breached at Garden, Radio City and Other Top Venues

Madison Square Garden
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Madison Square Garden arena in New York, U.S., on Friday, May 8, 2009.

The Madison Square Garden Company has informed customers of a data security breach that may have affected payment card users at five of its properties, including its namesake arena in New York City. The company said on Tuesday that after issuing banks informed them last month of potential abnormalities in transactions, an investigation found signs of "external unauthorized access" to the payment processing system used at merchandise and food locations at MSG, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre and the Chicago Theatre.

According to MSG, analysts found the installation of a program that "looked for payment card data as that data was being routed through the system for authorization." The data contained in a payment card’s magnetic strip includes credit card numbers, cardholder names, expiration dates and internal verification codes. The company said that visitors who used their cards at the listed venues between Nov. 9, 2015 and Oct. 24 of this year may have been affected, however, it insists not all cards used during that timeframe were affected and that the incident did not involve MSG websites, box offices or Ticketmaster.

"After learning of a transaction pattern indicating a potential data security concern, MSG immediately initiated an investigation and engaged leading computer security firms to examine its network, fix the issue and implement enhanced security measures," the company spokesperson said in separate statement. "The independent forensic investigation shows that no further cards were accessed after the time when signs of unauthorized access were identified. Customers may use their cards with confidence at MSG venues. The company takes seriously the protection of customer information and is in the process of notifying customers to provide them with information on how they can protect themselves."

The company has not disclosed how many customers may have been affected during the breach, but suggested that card users should review their account statements during the impacted timeframe and report abnormalities to the issuing banks.

MSG also owns The Forum, near Los Angeles, and the Wang Theatre in Boston.