December 2013 Sports Calendar

NYC Sports

by Jonathan Zeller, 11/27/2013

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Local rivalries are the theme in New York City sports this December: in basketball, the Nets face the Knicks for the first time since Brooklyn acquired prolific trash-talker Kevin Garnett, with whom we'd imagine Carmelo Anthony won't be sharing a ginger ale after the game; in hockey, the soon-to-be-Brooklyn Islanders visit the Rangers at Madison Square Garden; and in boxing, Brooklynites Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi slug it out in their home borough. For details on these and the rest of the month's sporting events, read on.

Knicks vs. Nets
When: December 5
Where: Barclays Center
Tickets: or
New York City's NBA teams go head to head for the first time this season. In addition to the built-in conflict that any regional rivalry brings, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett had an on-court run-in last year that may bring even more intensity to this matchup. Of course, if you can't make it to this tilt, don't lose hope: both the Knicks and Nets play plenty of other games throughout the month.

Islanders vs. Rangers
December 20
Where: Madison Square Garden
Tickets: or
Sports rivalries don't get much nastier than Rangers vs. Islanders, a grudge match that often produces vulgarity in the stands and—while we would never condone it, we must report it—spirited pugilism on the ice. Chants reference heroes and villains of long ago (Rangers fans frequently use salty language to demean Denis Potvin, who is 25 years removed from his time as an Islander), and the atmosphere is always charged, regardless of the standings. The Islanders plan on packing up and moving from the burbs to Brooklyn in time for opening night in 2015. The Rangers, meanwhile, have a full slate throughout December (and these teams will meet again at Yankee Stadium in January).

New York Jets Football
December 1, 8 and 22
Where: MetLife Stadium
Tickets: or
New York Giants Football
When: December 15 and 29
Where: MetLife Stadium
Tickets: or
The Jets host the Dolphins, Raiders and Browns in December. While they've been inconsistent, Gang Green boasts wins over New Orleans and New England and has bolstered its already formidable defense with the addition of Ed Reed—if the team manages to string together a few wins, a playoff berth is not out of the question. The Giants, meanwhile, after a very rough start and a recent tough loss to Dallas, hope to rebound in home games against Seattle and Washington. Finally, here's your requisite reminder that the Super Bowl is on its way to the NYC area.

Grapple at the Garden
December 1
Where: Madison Square Garden
Zab Judah vs. Paulie Malignaggi
December 7
Where: Barclays Center
WWE Live Holiday Tour
December 26
Where: Madison Square Garden
The Grapple at the Garden brings competitive wrestling to Madison Square Garden. The meet's big event is a freestyle match between Kyle Dake and Bubba Jenkins (both former national champions, four times over in Dake's case), and there will be college matches throughout the day involving teams from such schools as Army, Cornell, Boston University, Illinois, NYU, Hofstra, Rutgers, Maryland, Penn and Princeton. Also at MSG, the WWE holiday tour highlights a different brand of tussling, bringing well-known TV-wrestling stars like John Cena to the arena. Finally, in boxing, Brooklyn natives Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi are set to slug it out before a hometown crowd at the borough's Barclays Center.

College Basketball
All month long
Where: Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and gyms citywide
More info: Our roundup article
College basketball season is in full force, and December brings a slate of notable games to New York City: on December 1, Kentucky takes on Providence in Brooklyn; two Sundays later, St. John's hosts Syracuse in Manhattan; and on December 19, Duke takes on UCLA at Madison Square Garden. These are just a few of the month's key matchups—for a more complete accounting, check out our college basketball roundup article.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
December 28
Where: Yankee Stadium
Heisman Trophy Dinner Gala
December 16
Where: Marriott Marquis Times Square
Fordham Playoff Football
November 30
Where: Coffey Field
Last season, Geno Smith played in the third Pinstripe Bowl as West Virginia's quarterback, and now he's starting for the Jets. Coincidence? Yes. This year, an American Athletic Conference team will face off against a wild card—perhaps Notre Dame—because the Big 12 lacks enough bowl-eligible teams to send a rep. Also in college football: got $600 lying around? Why not go see the Heisman Trophy presentation. (By the way, New York City Heisman trivia: Ed Smith, the model for the Heisman trophy figure, played at New York University. The school no longer has a team). One more note: Fordham finished the regular season 11-1 and was chosen to host a first-round game in the FCS playoffs, against Sacred Heart University.

NYRR Midnight Run
December 31
Where: Central Park
More info:
Get a head start on your New Year's resolutions. While many folks are eating, drinking and reveling to extremes that may have them feeling guilty the next day, you can join other midnight runners in starting a 4-mile race the moment 2014 begins. Whenever you finish, savor the satisfaction of knowing that, so far, you've exercised every day of the new year. For more info, visit There's also a New Year's Eve 5K in Prospect Park. For more on that one, visit

All month long
Where: Citywide
More info: Our roundup article
For out-of-towners, one of the more familiar images of New York City during the winter is probably that of ice-skaters making their way around the rink at Rockefeller Center (thanks, NBC). And if you'd like to practice your figure eights in New York City, there are rinks in all five boroughs. Our rundown covers 17 options.

Looking ahead:
January 26, 2014: Devils vs. Rangers, Yankee Stadium
January 29, 2014: Islanders vs. Rangers, Yankee Stadium
February 2, 2014: Super Bowl XLVIII, MetLife Stadium
March 28 and 30, 2014: NCAA Tournament, Madison Square Garden
March 31, 2014: Mets home opener, Citi Field
April 7, 2014: Yankees home opener, Yankee Stadium
Spring 2015: New York City FC (Major League Soccer), site TBA

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    Barclays Center
    620 Atlantic Ave.
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11217
  2. 2
    Madison Square Garden
    2 Penn Plaza
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10121
  3. 3
    MetLife Stadium
    One MetLife Stadium Drive
    NJ 07073
  1. 4
    Yankee Stadium
    1 E. 161st St.
    Bronx – South Bronx
    NY 10451
  2. 5
    New York Marriott Marquis
    1535 Broadway
    Manhattan – Times Square
    NY 10036
  3. 6
    Central Park
    Between Fifth Ave. and Central Park West
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10024
  1. 7
    Prospect Park
    95 Prospect Park West
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11215
  2. 8
    Rockefeller Center
    45 Rockefeller Plaza
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10111
  3. 9
    World Ice Arena
    12540 Roosevelt Ave
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11368

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