Nets, Knicks opener at Barclays postponed
The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy has led to the postponement of Thursday night’s Knicks-Nets regular season game at the Barclays Center.
It was to be the Nets’ debut in their state-of-the-art arena.
“At my recommendation the NBA has [postponed Thursday night’s] Knicks-Nets game [at Barclays Center],” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during his mid-afternoon press conference Wednesday. “The first Nets game will be Saturday night [against the Toronto Raptors].”
The mayor added that Thursday night’s game “will be rescheduled,” but a date has not yet been decided upon. Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said in a statement that tickets for the postponed game will be “honored.”
The NBA’s communications office tweeted Tuesday that the first-ever NBA regular season game in Brooklyn would be played as scheduled. The NBA standard operating procedure is that if both teams and referees are in the same city, the game will be played. The NHL has a similar rule, which was widely criticized after the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils played home games during a blizzard that paralyzed the Northeast in December 2010.
“Mayor Bloomberg informed us this afternoon that after further analysis of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that he felt it was in the best interests of the city of New York, the teams and our fans that we postpone the Knicks-Nets game scheduled for Thursday night,” NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement posted on NBA.com.
“I’m sorry about the game,” Bloomberg said. “The bottom line is that there isn’t a lot of mass transit.”
Eleven subway and bus lines run to the Barclays Center, along with the Long Island Rail Road. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier in the day that the LIRR would begin running limited service. Bloomberg said “limited” subway service will resume Thursday but “there will not be subway service below 34th Street in Manhattan.”
The game would have been the first major regular season professional sporting event contested in Brooklyn since the then-Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-0, at Ebbets Field on Sept. 24, 1957. The Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles following the end of the 1957 season.
Follow Nets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman for continuing updates.