UPDATE: The game was announced as postponed at 2:15 PM on Wednesday. Read the updated story for more information.
Pro sports is returning to Brooklyn–the New Jersey Nets have relocated and the New York Islanders will join them soon. Jay Z opened the new Barclays Center with a series of concerts and the Nets have played preseason games there but their opening regular season game against the cross town rival New York Knicks is one of the biggest events to take place in Brooklyn since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles. Obviously they didn’t plan on a hurricane becoming an issue. The opening game has been in doubt due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy but on Wednesday the confirmation was given that the game will go on as planned.
The Nets and Knicks will tip off at 7 PM on Thursday and this has been confirmed by the NBA. The league reportedly monitored the situation throughout the storm before making a decision on Wednesday. The decision may have been driven by marketing more than logistics and it could be more of a made for TV spectacle than for the benefit of the fans. With subway and rail service in the area still shut down it’s going to be difficult for many fans to get to the arena.
In fact, some are doubting if the game was ever in doubt and that as soon as the NBA verified that the lights would be on the game was ‘on’. Knicks’ coach Mike Woodson on Tuesday said that his team was preparing to play:
“As far as I’ve been told, it’s still on. We’re preparing to play Thursday.”
Regardless of the problems, Knicks’ superstar Carmelo Anthony is excited to play:
“That will be a very monumental game for Brooklyn. For us to take place in that first game in history, it’ll be a fun moment for myself, being from Brooklyn, growing up there, knowing that the energy that Brooklyn has right now as a borough. I’m looking forward to that game Thursday.”
A Barclays Center spokesman said that the facility was in good shape and that the only issue was transportation and logistics. Two events were cancelled due to the storm–a Journey concert on Tuesday and a Smashing Pumpkins concert on Wednesday.