Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nets-Knicks home opener will be held Thursday; decision made before anyone knows if subway system will be working

The NBA has announced that, yes, the regular-season home opener for the Brooklyn Nets, a nationally-televised (TNT) game against the New York Knicks, will go on as scheduled at 7:00 pm on Thursday.

That's a rather aggressive decision, given that we don't know how much mass transit will be up and running by then, given that Mayor Mike Bloomberg said today that it could take three to five days before the subway system is back, after the devastation of the storm known as Sandy.

(Then again, you can bet arena developer Bruce Ratner has been in contact with the governor and mayor, urging them to make sure that lines serving the arena are functional.)

Whose interests rule?

It suggests that the interests of the league, the network, and the arena operators trump those of the ticket holders and the citizens of Brooklyn. USA Today reported:
The decision was made to play because players and referees will be in the New York region, and the NBA consulted with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office and the Nets, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

After all, a good number of ticket holders may--if things don't improve--have a very tough time getting to the arena. And if many more people drive, or even take the bus, then the likelihood grows of untoward impacts on the neighborhoods around the arena.

Daily News beat reporter channels Yormark
That's not to say they can't pull it off, with some luck.

But to decide on holding the game before anyone knows if mass transit will work--when the arena was built to rely on mass transit--is a stone cold power move, as well as something of a bet. Apparently, the money, the publicity, the inevitable Brooklyn Dodgers tie-in are all too inevitable to be stopped.

"Going to be a huge night," arena/team CEO Brett Yormark predicted on Twitter.

You can say that again. People are already asking him how to get to the arena.

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