KKR hires ex-CEO of MSG Sports, to drum up business for Edge observation deck

Private equity giant KKR is bringing in James Dolan’s former right-hand man to attract more visitors to Hudson Yards’ Edge observation deck.

KKR is announcing Monday it is hiring former MSG Sports CEO and President Andrew Lustgarten as Executive Chair of the Hudson Yards Experiences.

The Edge, which extends 80 feet out from the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards, opened March 11, 2020 and has been a disappointment despite its amazing views, sources in the New York tourism industry said.

Andrew Lustgarten has moved to the Edge. MSG Entertainment

KKR owns a majority of the Hudson Yards Experiences that includes the deck, CityClimb (where one secured by a harness and escorted by guides can scale the outside of the building), and the Peak 101st floor restaurant and event space overlooking the Edge.

Related Companies also owns a Hudson Yards Experiences stake.

“We are going to be looking at this differently,” Lustgarten told The Post. “There will be much more programming.”

That includes a July 4 fireworks event being staged from the Hudson and not the East River for the first time in years.

Lustgarten ran the business side of the Knicks and Rangers since MSG in April 2020 split its ownership in arenas and the cable television network from the sports teams until resigning at the end of 2022.

The Edge at Hudson Yards can fit more than 600 people on the outside deck. Getty Images
People waiting to watch the solar eclipse in April at the Edge. Getty Images

He is bringing in Francesca Merlino, who worked at MSG for seven years overseeing marketing for the Radio City Rockettes, as the Chief Commercial Officer, as well as Joseph Whitman, a former MSG vet who ran the Beacon Theatre, as General Manager.

The firm is also hiring Lustgarten as an advisor to help it with other sports and media investments, Lustgarten said.

KKR is a backer of Skydance Media which reportedly has reached a deal to merge with Paramount Global.

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