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Pro sports: Leagues forge ahead during recovery from Sandy

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 12:09 a.m. CDT
The lights on the Brooklyn Bridge stand in contrast to the lower Manhattan skyline which has lost its electrical supply Tuesday after megastorm Sandy swept through New York. NBA season openers in Brooklyn and Philadelphia are schedule for tonight but still in limbo.

With much of the Northeast immersed in the recovery from Superstorm Sandy’s devastating blow, the NFL and NBA plan to carry on with their schedules.

The New York City Marathon is still hoping that the course will be clear by Sunday and runners will be able to get to the starting line in Staten Island.

Philadelphia is supposed to host its opener tonight. And the Nets’ first game at their new Brooklyn home against the Knicks on Thursday could be in jeopardy, too. The new arena is heavily dependent on mass transit, and with the New York City subways and commuter rail out for what is expected to be several days, the league may choose to postpone that party if fans are kept away.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin believes Sunday’s game in Jersey against the New York Giants will go on as scheduled. Tomlin said he understands the league will be looking at any logistical issues that the storm’s aftermath may present, but added the Steelers will stick to their weekly routine unless they hear from NFL officials.

Tomlin might have to wait a day for the final word. All 32 teams were notified Monday that the league’s offices would be closed through Tuesday.

The NFL had already moved its trade deadline back two days to Thursday because of potential complications from the storm. The deadline now is 3 p.m. Thursday, when waivers for vested veterans also begin.

The Baltimore Ravens were running a generator Tuesday at their complex. Players were off, but the hope is electricity will be restored for regular practice today.

Five days before 50,000 runners take to the course that meanders through the streets of New York City’s five boroughs, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he expects the marathon to go on scheduled. Race organizers were moving forward with their plans – leaving open the possibility of changes from past years.

“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.”

Lower Manhattan was especially hit hard and many runners need to take the ferry to the start on Staten Island. Also, Bloomberg said it could be four or five days before the subways were running again. That could mean no trains on race day.

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