Knicks fans eager to return to Madison Square Garden paid $250 for a last-minute COVID test before signing up for a tip to comply with the NSW testing rules at large venues.
According to regulations that came into effect on February 23, venues with more than 10,000 people can operate at 10% capacity-as long as each guest passes the COVID test within 72 hours before reporting.
However, not only any old COVID test will work. The state requires fans to obtain more sensitive and accurate PCR or polymerase chain reaction tests. Unlike rapid tests, which can produce results within minutes, PCR test results may take hours or days.
Anthony Jones, 33, from Queens, paid $250 for the necessary PCR test kit and said: “I have been trapped in the house for a year and a half, so I am now happy to spend money.”
According to the new regulations, Saturday’s game marked the third time the Knicks participated in a garden game with fans.
The test requirements hardly provide a reliable choice for fans, because most providers can only guarantee to provide specialized “PCR” test results within three to five days.
A spokesperson for Madison Square Garden said that New York is the only state that requires this level of testing in large venues.
Enter Quick Test New York. The company has been widely known for its expensive, COVID-related concierge services to cater to the needs of wealthy New Yorkers. The company has established a temporary clinic in the Stewart Hotel conference room across from MSG along 8th Avenue to manage PCR testing. The promised 30-minute turnaround time.
“If you don’t test the fans, they won’t let them participate in the game, which is bad,” said Mark Golberg, who runs the Stewart Hotel Rapid Test NYC center and two other physical stores. On Nolita and East 72nd Street.
He said that after conducting a non-PCR quick test with MSG ticket buyers, fans walked into the Stewart Hotel.
“So they have to come to us,” Goldberg said. “Or they actually took an exam at City MD, or what you did and the results were not ready in time. We are the last resort.”
This is what happened to the father-son duo from Scarsdale. He said that they had a PCR test at another clinic on Thursday, but did not return the results to Saturday’s game in time.
“We kind of have to do this test. I don’t know if we have a choice,” lamented the father, who refused to provide his name. “We will have two games here-tonight and tomorrow’s hockey game-we have not gotten back to the test.”
Rapid Test New York City is one of three test locations recommended by MSG for testing customers. Northwell Health’s GoHealth Emergency Care Center (testing is recommended three days before the game) and Vault Health will send a quick test kit to fans before the game and are also recommended as providers .
Ticket holders can choose any healthcare provider to meet New York State’s testing requirements. We hope to help our fans by providing information about testing providers, which provide different levels of convenience and at different prices. A spokesperson for Madison Square Garden said in a statement that the three medical providers provide emergency care, alternatives to home and day checkups.
The second father and son couple called themselves the Butt family in Philadelphia, saying that they were completely frightened by these demands and planned to sell their tickets because they could not afford the $250 test price.
“Spend 500 dollars to play games. When you spend 500 dollars on top of 200 dollars, you can enter this building for only 1,000 dollars,” the disappointed father said after arriving at the Stewart Hotel. “It’s a bit like blackmail. We are frustrated, but what should we do? I won’t spend $500 to play a game with two tickets for $200.”