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Knicks-Magic game tonight canceled

The interior of Madison Square Garden Thursday March

The interior of Madison Square Garden Thursday March 9, 2000. Photo Credit: John Keating

The Knicks were forced to cancel tonight's game against the Orlando Magic due to an arena issue. Here is the statement:

"Following last night’s Rangers game, during overnight maintenance of Madison Square Garden, which included cleaning asbestos-related materials in the attic above the ceiling, some debris fell into the Arena.

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.

Ticketholders are advised to retain their tickets, and to go to nyknicks.com for rescheduling information. We will announce information about future events as soon as they have been determined."

Considering that it is asbestos-related, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Garden won't be available to the Knicks in time for Friday's game against the Wizards. The Knicks play Thursday night in Chicago against the Bulls.

It is the seventh time in franchise history that the Knicks have postponed a home game. The most recent was Jan. 7, 1996, when a snowstorm caused the cancellation of a Knicks-Sonics game at the Garden. Never before has a game been cancelled at the Garden because of an arena issue. In 1965, a game against the St. Louis Hawks on Nov. 9, 1965 was postponed due to The Great Blackout.

It's the second time in three weeks that the Magic have been involved in a canceled game due to arena conditions. On Oct. 22, a preseason game between the Magic and Miami Heat that was to be played at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., was canceled because the court was unplayable as a result of the ice surface beneath.

The Rangers played the night before, but the MSG crew has put the basketball court down over the ice for decades and have never had an issue since the building opened in 1968.

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