Sport scrambles to stay on schedule in Sandy's aftermath


Posted at Oct 31 2012 12:40 PM | Updated as of Oct 31 2012 08:40 PM

Organizers of sports events scheduled to take place in the New York area this week were looking at contingency plans on Tuesday, as the eastern United States began to assess the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Large parts of the region remained without power and transportation in the New York metropolitan area was at a standstill, putting several major sports events in jeopardy as official monitored the cleanup and whether events should continue or be postponed.

Organizers of the New York City Marathon were hopeful the race would proceed as planned on Sunday but the National Basketball Association (NBA) was evaluating Thursday's regular season opener between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks at the Barclays Center.

Sunday's National Football League game between the hosting New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers was expected to go ahead as planned at Metlife Stadium, with the venue having not been damaged by Sandy.

The massive storm, however, did force the NFL to extend its trade deadline day from Tuesday to Thursday.

"This a very challenging time for the people and city of New York," NYRR (New York Road Runners) president Mary Wittenberg said in a statement. "The city is rightfully focused on assessment, restoration and recovery.

"The marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this City. 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."

Among those accommodations, Wittenberg said the NYRR had revised its cancellation policy for the 2012 marathon and that runners unable to compete due to the knock-on effects of Sandy would be eligible for the 2013 race.

Logistics could still pose problems with around 20,000 international runners needing to arrive in the U.S. in time for the race, along with a further 30,000 American entrants.

Sandy, which crashed ashore with hurricane-force winds in New Jersey overnight as the biggest storm to hit the country in generations, swamped parts of New York's subway system and Manhattan's Wall Street district, closing financial markets for a second day.

Hardly surprisingly, Thursday's NBA game in Brooklyn between the hosting Nets and the Knicks was in some doubt.

"We are still assessing the situation with regards to the rest of the week," Tim Frank, the NBA's senior vice president for communications, told the New York Times in an e-mail.

The Nets are also scheduled to host games at the Barclays Center on Saturday, against the Toronto Raptors, and on Monday, against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In the aftermath of Sandy On Tuesday, New York City and a wide swathe of the eastern United States struggled with epic flooding and massive power outages. The death toll climbed to at least 30.