The Brooklyn Nets' debut at the new $1 billion Barclays Center might take a back seat to a much larger spectacle -- the continuing consequences of Hurricane Sandy's devastating sweep through the five boroughs.
While the Nets canceled practice Tuesday ahead of Thursday's home opener vs. the crosstown New York Knicks, residents picked up the pieces after a storm that left millions without power.
Yet a choked public transit system, streets blocked by debris and power outages are doing little to shake public confidence in a timely recovery.
"It's New York," says Eddy St. Louis, co-owner of Machavelle Sports Bar and Lounge, across the street from the arena. "Everything will fall back into place. We prepare for stuff like this."
Late Tuesday, St. Louis was proved correct. The NBA said in a statement the Knicks-Nets game would go on. The decision was made because players and referees will be in the New York area; the NBA consulted with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office and the Nets, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The city hasn't provided a timetable for the reopening of the subway system -- the main mode of transportation for Barclays Center. The stop feeding into Barclays remained roped off with pink tape Tuesday. The arena and its Nets merchandise store were closed Tuesday, and a concert featuring Journey was canceled.
In other storm developments:
Organizers for Sunday's New York Marathon say the race is still a go, while runners altered plans to get there. New York Road Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg released a statement saying preparations were moving ahead. "We will keep all options open with regard to making any accommodations and adjustments necessary to race day."
On Tuesday, Central Park remained closed until further notice. The marathon course winds through the park in the last couple of miles.
A major concern is getting 18,000-20,000 international runners into the city. Cheryl Baker was scheduled to fly from London on Tuesday but is now booked for Friday.
"The funny thing is when disaster strikes, cities like New York and London, it's almost like, 'You're not gonna beat us,'" she said. "New York is going to turn around and make it probably the best (marathon) ever."
The Breeders' Cup is relaxing its rules to accommodate horses stranded in New York.
Horses running at Santa Anita Park normally must be on the grounds 72 hours before race time.
A flight scheduled to leave Tuesday carrying several of trainer Todd Pletcher's horses was postponed until today. Those horses will be allowed to compete. Agents from the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau will accompany the flight.
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