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barclays center

The First Sporting Event at Barclays? The Harlem Globetrotters!

Pictured in that photo right there in this post is something we had been considering somewhat of a collector's item. That is a ticket to see the New York Islanders play the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center on October 2, 2012. That was to be the first sporting event at the new arena, and we felt honored to have the chance to be there. Except ... the NHL is in the midst of a shockingly self-destructive lockout and just yesterday canceled all preseason games through September 30. The Islanders-Devils game hasn't been canceled yet ... but barring some sudden rush of logic to the brain of the NHL and its players, it's going to be. Sad. We're gonna have to take that thing off our fridge.

It's probably for the best, when you think about it; it might have been a little strange to have the first sporting event at Barclays Center be a hockey game, considering how poorly the arena is set up for hockey. That said: When you take away the eight Jay-Z shows — eight! — and the Barbra Streisand and the Rush, it can be tough to find actual sporting events scheduled for the place. The hockey game was pretty much it for the first few weeks. Considering they're cutting the ribbon on the place tomorrow, we gotta figure out what sports they're having.

Barclays Center has a handy, nifty event calendar on their website, so even though it's missing Nets preseason games, let's take a gander. With the presumed hockey cancellation, the first sporting event, after the eight Jay-Z shows, is ... the Harlem Globetrotters! We're not sure that exactly counts as a sporting event, but they will have a basketball there. (We mean that not to disparage the Globetrotters, who are reliably entertaining and obviously talented athletes. We just have a tough time getting past the names on the roster page.) Tickets are still available for the Globetrotters, by the way; it's Sunday, October 7 at 5 p.m. Not the worse way to get acquainted with the new place.

After that, the Nets take over. They'll have three preseason games at Barclays the next week, versus Washington on Monday the 15th, Boston on Thursday the 18th and Philadelphia on Friday the 19th. That'll be it until the regular season starts, on November 1 against those Knicks, in a game that might get a smidgen of attention around these parts.

The first non-Nets legitimate sporting event is November 9, the Barclays Center Classic, which will feature Kentucky versus Maryland and Long Island versus Morehead State. That month will also see the Legends Classic and the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic.

And then the place will just be a regular building with events happening all the time. It'll be a part of our daily lives. It's happening really soon now. Like, next week.

Photo: Will Leitch