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Knicks followers going down hundreds on final COVID examinations prior to video games


February 27, 2021 | 11: 32pm | Updated February 27, 2021 | 11: 37pm

Knicks followers hopeless to return to Madison Square Garden are betting $250 for final COVID examinations prior to idea off, in order to fulfill brand-new state screening regulations for big locations.

Under the guidelines that entered into impact Feb. 23, locations with greater than 10,000 individuals can run at 10 percent capability — as long as every visitor has actually passed a COVID examination within 72 hrs of tipoff.

But not simply any kind of old COVID examination will certainly do. The state needs followers to obtain the much more delicate as well as precise PCR, or polymerase domino effect, examinations. Unlike a fast examination, which can offer a cause a couple of mins, PCR examination outcomes can take hrs or days.

“I’ve been trapped in a house for a year and a half, so I’ll be happy to spend whatever right now,” stated Anthony Jones, 33 of Queens, after he spent the $250 to obtain the required PCR examination prior to the Knicks were set up to tackle the Pacers Saturday evening.

Saturday’s competition noted the 3rd Knicks competition with followers present at The Garden under the brand-new regulations.

The Stewart Hotel, where Madison Square Garden is offering $250 rapid PCR Covid Tests before the game.
The Stewart Hotel, where MSG is supplying $250 quick COVID examinations prior to video games.
Daniel William McKnight

The screening needs leave couple of trustworthy alternatives for followers, due to the fact that a lot of suppliers can just assure the specialized “PCR” examination results within 3 to 5 days. 

New York is the only state needing this degree of screening for big locations, a Madison Square Garden agent stated.

Enter Rapid Test New York City. The business — which has actually been making headings throughout the pandemic for its costly, COVID-related attendant solutions dealing with abundant New Yorkers — has actually established a makeshift facility inside a Stewart Hotel boardroom, throughout 8th Avenue from MSG, where it’s carrying out PCR examinations with a guaranteed 30-minute turn-around time. 

“If a fan didn’t get tested, they’re not going to let them in the game, and that sucks,” stated Mark Golberg, that is running the Stewart Hotel Rapid Test New York City facility as well as 2 various other brick-and-mortar places in Nolita as well as on West 72nd Street.

He stated followers have actually strolled right into the Stewart Hotel after providing a non-PCR rapid-test to MSG ticket-takers. 

“So they have to come to us,” Goldberg stated. “Or they actually took a test at City MD or what have you and the results aren’t ready in time. We’re the last resort.”

That’s what occurred to a father-son duo from Scarsdale that stated they took a PCR examination at an additional facility Thursday, yet didn’t obtain their outcomes back in time for Saturday’s video game. 

“We’re kind of stuck having to do this test. I don’t know if we have a choice,” regreted the papa, that decreased to give his name. “We’re going to two games here — tonight and the hockey game tomorrow — and we haven’t gotten our tests back yet.”

Rapid Test New York City is among 3 screening websites where MSG is suggesting clients most likely to be examined. Northwell Health’s GoHealth Urgent Care facilities, which advise being examined 3 days before the video game, as well as Vault Health, which will certainly send out followers a rapid-test package before video game day, are additionally detailed as advised suppliers.

rapid PCR-covid-tests-1

The Stewart Hotel, where Madison Square Garden is supplying $250 quick PCR Covid Tests prior to the video game.

Daniel William McKnight

rapid PCR-covid-tests-2

The Stewart Hotel, where Madison Square Garden is supplying $250 quick PCR Covid Tests prior to the video game.

Daniel William McKnight

Pacers Knicks Basketball

The scoreboard invites followers prior to an NBA video game in between the New York Knicks as well as the Indiana Pacers at MSG on Feb. 27, 2021.


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“Ticket holders can choose any healthcare provider to meet New York State’s testing requirements. We wanted to help our fans by providing information on testing providers that offer different levels of convenience, which come at different price points. The three providers offer urgent care, at-home and day-of testing alternatives,” a Madison Square Garden agent stated in a declaration.

A 2nd father-son set, that recognized themselves as the Boothe family members from Philadelphia, stated they were entirely surprised by the needs as well as prepared to market their tickets, due to the fact that they couldn’t pay for the $250 examination cost. 

“It’s $500 to go to the game. When you spend $500 on top of $200, that’s almost $1,000 just to go into this building right here,” the let down papa stated after stopping by Stewart Hotel. “It’s kind of like extortion. We’re upset, but what could we do? I’m not spending $500 to go to a game that’s $200 for two tickets.”