NEW YORK (CBS 2/AP) — There was a health scare at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Debris containing asbestos fell into the arena, forcing the New York Knicks to cancel Tuesday night’s game as a precaution.
CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reports asbestos fell from an attic area under construction and into the arena where the ice was still down for the Rangers during the overnight hours. And the delicate clean up meant the floor couldn’t go down in time for the Knicks to take the court against the Orlando Magic.
Fans just learning of the problem were being kept out of the arena, which was declared a possible health hazard.
“Fans come first, safety first. If asbestos fell from the ceiling I guess that’s the way to go and no other choice to do it,” Midtown resident Eric Feinberg said.
The debris that fell into the arena was knocked loose by maintenance staff in the attic above the ceiling following Monday night’s hockey game.
Madison Square Garden released the following statement:
“Out of an abundance of caution, and after consulting the NBA, we are postponing tonight’s Knicks v. Magic game. We will be working with the city and independent experts, ATC Associates and GCI Environmental Advisory, to evaluate and determine the most appropriate course of action. As the safety of our customers and employees are our top priority, we will not reopen the Garden until we are absolutely assured the Arena is safe.”
Some fans expressed their disappointment to Carlin.
“This is what happens when you have sporting events in the same stadium, same arena and they start to overlap with one another,” Queens resident Steven Morris said.
“I’m very upset. This is my first chance to see them with Orlando and I can’t see them,” added Maurice Divino of Brooklyn.
“I’m gonna take my lady out to eat and go home,” another man said.
Ticketholders are advised to retain their tickets, and to go to nyknicks.com for rescheduling information.
No makeup date has been announced.
It’s the second recent arena-related postponement for the Magic. The exhibition game against Miami that was scheduled for the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., was canceled because of slippery court conditions after arena officials said an oil-based cleaning solution was mistakenly applied.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)