Coronavirus Outbreak: New York Knicks owner James Dolan tests positive for COVID-19

The Knicks announced that Dolan had tested positive on Saturday night. It is not clear when he was tested or when he received the diagnosis

The Associated Press March 29, 2020 16:36:22 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: New York Knicks owner James Dolan tests positive for COVID-19

James Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Coronavirus Outbreak New York Knicks owner James Dolan tests positive for COVID19

File image of James Dolan. AP

The Knicks announced Dolan’s diagnosis Saturday night. It is not clear when he was tested or when he received the diagnosis.

Dolan is the first US major pro sports owner known to have tested positive for the virus. He also owns the NHL's New York Rangers, along with other venues like Radio City Music Hall, The Hulu Theatre and The Chicago Theatre.

“The Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Dolan has tested positive for coronavirus,” the Knicks' statement said. “He has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms. He continues to oversee business operations.”

New York has been the hotspot for the pandemic in the US.

All 50 US states have reported some cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, but New York has the most, with over 52,000 positive tests for the illness and more than 700 deaths. About 7,300 people were in New York hospitals Saturday, including about 1,800 in intensive care.

Dolan is one of the most polarizing sports figures in New York. Earlier this month, Oscar-winning writer-director Spike Lee — one of the Knicks' best-known fans — criticized Dolan after getting into a disagreement with MSG personnel about which entrance to the arena he could use. Dolan has also publicly clashed in recent years with former Knicks forward Charles Oakley, and frustrated fans chanted “sell the team" at some games this season.

The NBA has been shut down since 11 March, the night that Utah centre Rudy Gobert became the first player in the league to have a positive diagnosis for the virus revealed. The Knicks played host to Utah — which later had Gobert and Donovan Mitchell test positive — on 4 March and played host to Detroit on 8 March. Pistons center Christian Wood also later tested positive for the virus.

Gobert, Mitchell and Wood have all since recovered.

The 64-year-old Dolan also serves as executive chairman of MSG Networks, and has been chairman of the Garden and owner of the Knicks since 1999.

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