Tuesday, October 30, 2012

After storm, city/region/MTA face recovery; delay in subway reopening places cloud over Nets' planned home opener Nov. 1; Albert, Prokhorov offer optimism about Nets (updated)

There's been no word yet about the impact of the huge storm Sandy on the Barclays Center, other than the predictable (and early yesterday) announcement that tonight's Journey concert would be canceled.

On Dean St. side of the arena; photos by Raul Rothblatt
However, given that the subway system "has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night," according to Chairman Joseph Lhota, and the city faces enormous challenges after power outages and flooding, as reported by the New York Times, it will take days, perhaps more, for the city and region to recover.

So I'm not going out on a limb to predict that tomorrow's Smashing Pumpkins concert at the arena will be canceled. (Update: it was postponed.) Last night, the first in a week of Jimmy Kimmel shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music--a series keyed to the Brooklyn Nets season--was canceled. It's not clear whether tonight's show will go on.

The Nets opener

What about the much-anticipated Brooklyn Nets home opener Thursday, Nov. 1, against the New York Knicks? The Times's Howard Beck confirms "no definitive word" from the NBA.
Another view of Dean Street

But the prospect seems less likely, given statements this morning that it could take "four or five" or "three or four" days to get the subways up and running.

It still remains possible that, if subways are functioning by Thursday afternoon, the game could go on.

If it does go through as planned, even if billed as a salute to the resiliency of the city and of Brooklyn, the excitement surely will be muted, given that New Yorkers have been forced to recognize that sports fandom, and entertainment, however a part of the fabric of life, run well behind survival of the city and its systems.

The Atlantic Avenue side
That would also put a damper on plans to bring back some Brooklyn Dodgers for a ceremony to install the flag from Ebbets Field (and a plaque) on the arena plaza.

There were reports on Twitter that some construction materials on the Dean Street side of the arena were flying away in the wind.

As seen in the photos, part of the construction fence was lost.

Also, one small tree outside the arena was downed (left), and some metal fencing at the parking lot was overturned (below right).

Run-up promotion

Meanwhile, in the run-up to the anticipated home opener, the New York Times offers a bit of synergy, an essay by new Nets play-by-play announcer Marv Albert, Back Home in Brooklyn, Marv Albert Welcomes a New Resident:
On Pacific Street east of Carlton 
The Nets have come to Brooklyn, where I grew up. And even after nearly 50 years of calling basketball games, I can’t wait.
But when I call their first regular-season game at Barclays Center, on Thursday night against the Knicks, I will not be curious about whether the move from New Jersey will go well. It will. I will want to know if a hard-core Nets crowd will be at the arena. One of my measuring sticks for the success of the Brooklyn Nets will be their ability to overwhelm the sound and presence of Knicks fans.
Around the city, people keep asking me about the Nets — at a rate that I never thought possible. Fanatics from New Jersey used to be the only people who wanted to chat me up about the Nets. Sometimes, you hardly knew they had taken the court at Izod Center. Far more often, people wanted to talk to me about the Knicks — and kept asking after I left the Knicks’ TV booth to call Nets games.
The Nets are a likable group, and even without playing a game they’ve become popular. I think they’ll win over kids who haven’t developed loyalties yet.
He closes with a reference to one of Brett Yormark's favorite terms, "relevance":
Back then, of course, there was no pro alternative in New York to rooting for the Knicks. Now, the Nets can challenge them as they never did from Long Island, Piscataway, the swamps of New Jersey or Newark. They are finally relevant, and it should be fun to watch.
The New York Post offers Serby's special Q&A with Mikhail Prokhorov, in which the Nets' owner tells Steve Serby (conversation or written back-and-forth?) that he expects the Nets to win an NBA championship in June (highly unlikely) and offers numerous ripostes:
Q: Why did you want to own an NBA team so badly?
A: I have a lot of experience with basketball, having owned CSKA in Russia. We made it to the Euroleague semifinals every year during the time I was there, and won the championship twice. Plus, this was just a wonderful opportunity — a down-and-out franchise about to make a historic move to Brooklyn, a new arena, a chance to really build something and make my mark. I wasn’t interested in buying any team at any price. I really wanted a big market, and when this opportunity came along with a great partner in Bruce Ratner it was obviously the right thing to do.
I suspect that making a big profit and buffing his reputation might also have been part of the equation.

The 78th Precinct Community Council

The next meeting of the 78th Precinct Community Council was supposed to be held tonight but has been rescheduled to Nov. 13 at 7:30 pm, at the station house, at 6th Avenue and Bergen Street.

It will give neighbors an opportunity to discuss arena impacts--at least those that the police can deal with, such as traffic and parking. (The cops can't do much about arena noise, but I bet they felt the bass from Sensation in their building, too.)

No comments:

Post a Comment