NEW YORK (AP) — Nets fans found traveling to Barclays Center a bit easier Saturday after the Metropolitan Transit Authority opened up several subway lines from lower Manhattan into Brooklyn for the first time since Superstorm Sandy.
The city postponed Thursday night's opener against the New York Knicks because much of the mass-transit system was still not operating. By Friday afternoon, the Nets already had a plan in place to get fans from Manhattan to Brooklyn for Saturday night's home opener against the Toronto Raptors.
But having the subways was a huge boost, though not all of the nine lines that stop at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center complex are back. Escalators at the station were still shut down and remaining water damage was evident, but there was a large crowd of fans waiting in the plaza when the doors opened.
Mike Kingsbaker spent the day volunteering at a shelter in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn before heading out to the game and did not have a problem with basketball being played in the city. The trip to the arena took him about five minutes.
"There's a lot of people that need a lot of help. Hopefully, they're going to do something tonight to kind of help some people out. I know Staten Island and the Rockaways (need help)," the 32-year-old from Brooklyn said. "I was kind of bummed to see that Knicks-Nets game not happen just because that just could have been a really unifying New York-type experience. Then the next night the Knicks-Heat game is going on."
Fellow Brooklynite Jon Haz, 18, had to take a taxi to the arena because there were no trains available in his area.