NYC Marathon, Knicks-Nets opener will go on despite Sandy’s damage

Pro sports will return to Brooklyn on Thursday night. (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

In spite of the damage Sandy inflicted on New York City and New Jersey, several major sports events will go on as scheduled. 

The New York City Marathon will take place on Sunday and the New York Knicks’ game against the Brooklyn Nets in the new $1 billion Barclays Center is a go for Thursday night. The Nets’ game marks the return of pro sports to Brooklyn for the first time since 1957. 

Marathon organizers, however, left open the possibility of changes from past races. “The marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this city,” New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said in a statement. “NYRR continues to move ahead with its planning and preparation. We will keep all options open with regard to making any accommodations and adjustments necessary to race day and race weekend events.”

There are plenty of logistical issues for the race, which has a course that runs through each of the five boroughs. Out-of-town and international amateur runners may have difficulty getting to the city, with the restoration of flights and train service just beginning. In addition, nearly 50,000 runners may need to find a different way just to get to the starting line. Wittenberg said that about half the runners take the ferry to the Staten Island starting line; others take buses through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. Neither has been open because of flooding. Organizers of the race are working to re-schedule the flights of the elite runners who have entered the race.

Wittenberg said Monday that NYRR had a long list of contingency plans because it stages about 50 events a year. “We’ve been through close to it all,” Wittenberg said.

The NBA, after discussing whether to move the Knicks-Nets game that will mark the regular-season debut of Brooklyn’s new area, chose to allow the game to be played after consulting Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office and the Nets, USA Today reported. Obviously, players and referees already are in the region.

“It’s New York,” Eddy St. Louis, co-owner of Machavelle Sports Bar and Lounge across the street from the new arena, told USA Today. “The trains will be back on schedule, the buses will be running. Everything will fall back into place. We prepare for stuff like this.”

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