Updated at 4:39 p.m.
Madison Square Garden should be open again in time for the New York Knicks game against the Washington Wizards on Friday night, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
"If they made any mistakes, they were mistakes in the direction of being cautious and they should be commended for that," Bloomberg said, praising the quick action of MSG executives (via the New York Daily News). "They did not put their own interests or the team's interest ahead of any conceivable safety issue."
Department of Environmental Protection air-quality tests showed 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.
Filed at 11:53 a.m.
The New York Knicks inquired about the possibility of moving their game Friday against the Washington Wizards across the Hudson to the Prudential Center in New Jersey.
The team, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, was working on a contingency plan to move the game to the home of the Nets and Devils in Newark just in case the cleanup of asbestos at Madison Garden, which forced the postponement of the Knicks-Magic game Tuesday night, was not completed by Friday. However, an NBA official stressed that the cleanup was on track for completion today.
"They believe they can get this cleaned up by Wednesday, and they won't have to move any games -- they'll just have to reschedule the Magic game," the official told the Star-Ledger, adding that asbestos that fell from the ceiling did not land in seating areas. "But if it gets on past Thursday, the Knicks said they'll get back to the people in Newark."
The Rangers and Devils have a regularly-scheduled game Friday at the Rock and would be unwilling to reschedule their game, an anonymous official told the paper. A day-night doubleheader might have to be considered. The Rock is the preferred choice, should Wizards-Knicks need to be moved, because it's accessible by train.