Sandy was just too much.
After quietly saying in the last 24 hours they would not cancel the Nets home opener at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Thursday, the league confirmed that they would do just that. The reason for the change was apparently the request of New York mayor Bloomberg.
“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. “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this devastating storm.”
The Knicks at the Nets will be postponed until a future date yet to be set.
The reason isn’t the Barclays Center itself, which suffered almost no damage from the storm, but rather it is the damage in and around the city — particularly to mass transit.
Barclays’ officials estimate about 80 percent of the people who come to the game would do so via mass transit. There are 11 subway and rail lines that serve the Barclays Center and that was the preferred and suggested way to get there — however currently all subway and rail lines are shut down in New York. While some limited service may be available by Thursday night, it could not handle the loads coming to the new arena.
The arena is in a dense area of Brooklyn that has almost no public parking, yet most people would have had to try and get there by car over the Brooklyn Bridge. It would have been a disaster.
So the league did the smart thing and postponed the game. Which sucks for the Nets (the Knicks may be healthier when they meet next), for the building operators, for Brooklyn. But it was the right thing to do.