Asbestos that fell from the ceiling of Madison Square Garden onto the playing surface area has led to the postponement of the Magic/Knicks game scheduled for tonight, according to the Knicks.
Knicks officials say the game has been postponed out of “an abundance of caution” and that the arena will remain closed until the situation is fully resolved.
Madison Square Garden is undergoing a massive, $800 million renovation — that is the reason the NBA Draft had to be moved out of the building’s theater next June — and when cleaning was being done in an attic above the court/ice surface area, asbestos was knocked loose, according to the Knicks.
Media first noticied the problem 2:10 p.m. this afternoon, as the basketball court at the Garden was not down. Work hasn’t even started.
The New York Rangers played last night and, as you can see from a photo at Fox Sports Florida, the ice is still down inside MSG. Even the boards are still up from the hockey game. The asbestos fell down onto the ice, which is why the court was never put down.
This kind of problem seems to follow the Magic around. Their preseason game in Tampa Bay against the Heat had to be cancelled after a wax used on the floor left it too slick to play.
The date for a rescheduled Knicks/Magic game has not been set yet. How long Madison Square Garden will be closed and if this impacts other events remains to be seen. The next Knicks home game is Friday against the Wizards, and if they have to move it the Meadowlands in New Jersey could be the spot (the place the Nets just moved out of, enjoy the coincidence).
As funny an anecdote as this seems, asbestos is a serious issue so it is possible the Garden will not be open by Friday, a lot of caution will be used.