Madison Square Garden Accident: Knicks Could Play There Friday

See Posting and Toasting for the reaction of Knicks fans, and Blueshirt Banter for the reaction of Rangers fans

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Knicks Appear Likely To Play At Madison Square Garden Friday Night

It seems likely that the New York Knicks will be able to play at Madison Square Garden Friday night when they are scheduled to host the Washington Wizards.

The Knicks game Tuesday at MSG against the Orlando Magic was cancelled due to an asbestos scare after debris fell to the playing surface during maintenance work related to the renovation currently underway at the Garden.

"I don't know what will happen," said team president Donnie Walsh. "We're going to play in Chicago (Thursday) and when we come back, we'll know one way or another."

But Mayor Bloomberg, who praised Madison Square Garden executives on Wednesday for putting public safety first, indicated that the Garden will be able to reopen its doors for the game against the Wizards.

"If they made any mistakes, they were mistakes in the direction of being cautious and they should be commended for that," Bloomberg said. "They did not put their own interests or the team's interest ahead of any conceivable safety issue."

The city's Department of Environmental Protection performed air-quality tests at the iconic arena on Tuesday afternoon and reported that the dust that triggered two detectors did not contain asbestos.

"It turns out that our Department of Environmental Protection is very satisfied that there was no asbestos there, there were no risks, and if we had more time before they had to make a decision on the game, perhaps they wouldn't have even canceled the game," Bloomberg said.

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Report: Knicks Could Play At Prudential Center

Citing an unnamed source, ESPN New York reports the Knicks have contacted Prudential Center officials about the possibility of playing their home game against the Wizards this Friday there, instead of at Madison Square Garden.

The New Jersey Devils are slated to play a game there on Friday night and have refused to reschedule that game, meaning "the Knicks would have to play in the early afternoon to give arena workers ample time to convert the playing surface for the Devils game," according to the report.

The NBA postponed the Knicks' game against the Magic last night due to unsafe conditions at Madison Square Garden, which is preparing to undergo a large renovation project to be completed in 2011. Notably, another Garden tenant, the WNBA's Liberty, will play its home games at Prudential Center during this renovation.

However, the Garden cleanup effort could be finished as soon as tonight, according to Dave D'Alessandro of the Star Ledger. It appears as though the Knicks are simply trying to have a plan in place in case the Garden is not ready for Friday.

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Madison Square Garden: No Asbestos, But Will The Games Go On?

Will the games go on at Madison Square Garden? That is the question in the wake of Tuesday's accident at MSG where debris fell from the ceiling during overnight maintenance, resulting in the cancellation of a scheduled New York Knicks games vs. the Orlando Magic.

From the New York Post:

The Garden is shut down until further notice, but sources indicated the Knicks' next home game -- Friday vs. the Wizards -- will go on. As a fallback, the Knicks contacted the Prudential Center about hosting John Wall's Wizards, but it does not appear they will need it.

A city environmental agency official told The Post the debris that fell in the arena was found not to contain asbestos. The accident, however, raises questions on whether the Knicks' ongoing Garden "transformation" is safe during the season.

A Garden spokesman said information on its reopening will be known today. One source said the concern looks to be making sure the ceiling is structurally stable so more debris does not fall.

The Knicks are scheduled to play home games at the Garden Friday vs. the Washington Wizards and Sunday vs. the Philadelphia 76ers.

The New York Rangers are next scheduled to play at the Garden on Sunday vs. the St. Louis Blues, the beginning of a four-game homestand.

Ticketholders for the Knicks-Magic game have been advised to keep their tickets and go to nyknicks.com for re-scheduling information.

There has been speculation that the Knicks are looking into alternate sites, including the Prudential Center, if the Garden is not deemed safe.

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