May 2013 Sports Calendar

NYC Sports

by Jonathan Zeller, 04/16/2013

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If you like virtually any sport even a little bit, there's a good chance you have something to get excited about this May in New York City. In addition to the big stuff—the Knicks and Nets in the playoffs, the Rangers hopefully starting a run at the Stanley Cup, the Mets facing the Yankees—there are numerous hidden gems. In the scenery division, we have the Brooklyn Half Marathon, which finishes at Coney Island, and the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, which passes through Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. In women's sports, the New York Liberty tip off their season in Newark, Gotham Girls Roller Derby holds a match in Harlem and the little-known New York Sharks—a tackle football team—take on their Boston rivals in Brooklyn. And for international flavor, there's the Adidas Grand Prix, which brings world-class track and field athletes to Icahn Stadium, and a match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Yankee Stadium. For details about these and the rest of the month's sporting events, read on.

Brooklyn Nets
Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets. Photo: Adam Pantozzi

Brooklyn Nets in the NBA Playoffs
When: April 20, 8pm; April 22, 8pm; April 29 (if necessary), time TBA; May 4 (if necessary), time TBA
Where: Barclays Center
Tickets: ticketmaster.com or stubhub.com
Jay-Z may be selling his stake in the team, but it would be hard to get the Nets down these days. The team had already marked its Kings County territory with a new arena and copious black-and-white merchandise, but nothing garners more fans than winning does—and for the first time in a long while, the former New Jerseyans, led by Deron Williams, are headed to the playoffs. Their first-round opponent will be the Chicago Bulls. Dispatch them, and LeBron James and the Heat likely await in the conference semifinals.

Amar'e Stoudemire
Amar'e Stoudemire, who Knicks fans hope will return for the playoffs. Photo: © Madison Square Garden

[Update: 5/6/2013]
New York Knicks in the NBA Playoffs

When (second round): May 5, 3:30pm; May 7, 7pm; May 16, 8pm; May 20, 8pm (if necessary)
Where: Madison Square Garden
Tickets: ticketmaster.com or stubhub.com
The Knickerbockers are Atlantic Division champions for the first time since 1994 (Weezer's self-titled "Blue Album" came out that May, George Foreman won a heavyweight title in November, and Netscape Navigator was released in December). So it's been awhile. But Melo, J.R. Smith and whatever other Knicks are healthy enough to take the floor against the Celtics in the first round hope this is just where the good part starts. After two years of first-round exits, 'bockers fans are hungry for a deep run.
[Update: So far, so good. In the second round, the Knicks take on the Indiana Pacers.]

[Updated: 5/14/2013]
New York Rangers in the NHL Playoffs

When (second round): May 21, 7:30pm; May 23, 7pm; May 27 (if necessary), time TBA
Where: Madison Square Garden
Tickets: ticketmaster.com or stubhub.com
The Rangers had their struggles along the way, but they've snagged the sixth seed in the playoffs. They'll face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in the first round. We know that the scoring of Rick Nash, the leadership of Ryan Callahan and the suave good looks of Henrik Lundqvist will propel the Blueshirts to a string of victories culminating in their first Stanley Cup title since, yes, 1994. Out in Nassau County, the Islanders—planning a move to Brooklyn in a couple of years—earned the number eight seed, and will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
[Update: The Rangers defeated the Capitals in seven games, and now move on to face the Boston Bruins.]

Citi Field
Courtesy, New York Mets

Mets and Yankees Baseball, Including the Subway Series
When: Games all month long; Subway Series May 27–30
Where: Citi Field and Yankee Stadium
Tickets: mets.com, ticketmaster.com or stubhub.com
It's early yet, but here are positive thoughts on both New York teams. For the Mets: Matt Harvey looks really, really good on the mound. (And would look better still if he brought back his mustache. Think about it, Matt). And if John Buck continues hitting like the second coming of Mike Piazza (we concede this is unlikely), that R.A. Dickey trade will seem exceedingly wise even to those of us who loved the knuckleballer. For the Yankees: Andy Pettitte is pitching like it's the '90s, and Robinson Cano seems to have found a formidable groove. Major League Baseball's schedule makers, having a strange year, have seen fit to schedule the Subway Series (now just one four-game series, not two three-game sets) for Monday, May 27—which, to be fair, is Memorial Day—through Thursday, May 30, this season, but we're sure the stadiums will still be loud and full for the games. If you can't make those, you'll have ample opportunities to catch both teams throughout the month. Of note: the Yankees face the Red Sox right after the Mets, starting on May 31.

NYC Mayor's Cup Chess Championships
When: May 4; check-in 8:30–9:15am, start at 10am
Where: PS 11
More info: The official NYC Mayor's Cup Facebook page 
In The Morals of Chess, founding father Benjamin Franklin offered the following advice: "Snatch not eagerly at every advantage offered by [your opponent's] unskillfulness or inattention; but point out to him kindly, that by such a move he places or leaves a piece in danger and unsupported; that by another he will put his king in a perilous situation, etc. By this generous civility…you may, indeed, happen to lose the game to your opponent; but you will win what is better, his esteem, his respect, and his affection, together with the silent approbation and goodwill of impartial spectators." We doubt that the young competitors at this event will follow such guidance, for NYC & Company's scholastic-chess competition is a no-holds-barred battle to be named "Best in the City"—and NYC's most ferocious chess masters will take no prisoners in their quest for glory!

New York Sharks vs. Boston Militia
When: May 4, 8pm
Where: Aviator Sports Complex
Tickets: nysharksfootball.com 
New York City's resident women's tackle football team hits the gridiron at the Aviator Sports Complex. While they may not be as well known as the Giants and Jets, these ladies play hard (and hit hard). On May 4, the Sharks take on their Beantown rivals; at $15 (or $8 for kids and seniors), admission costs a fraction of what you'd pay to see an NFL game.

Cycling:
TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour
When: May 5; time TBA
Where: Starting near The Battery
More info: bikenewyork.org 
Bike the Branches
When: May 11, 10am
Where: Finishing at Brooklyn Public Library, Main Branch
More info: brooklynpubliclibrary.org 
During the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, some 32,000 cyclists pedal their way through all five boroughs on a traffic-free 40-mile course. As its name suggests, the event is a tour, not a race—so resist the urge to channel your inner Lance Armstrong. A lottery was used to fill open spots during general registration, but you can still join in as a VIP or ride for a charity. Bike the Branches, meanwhile, is a smaller-scale event during which riders can cycle throughout Brooklyn, stopping for refreshments at various libraries.

Brooklyn Half Marathon
Brooklyn Half Marathon. Courtesy, NYRR

Running and Walking:
New York Road Runners Health and Wellness Jamboree
When: May 5; elementary registration at 7:45am, start at 9am
Where: Icahn Stadium
More info: nyrr.org [PDF]
Brooklyn Half Marathon
When: May 18, 7am
Where: Finishing at Coney Island
More info: nyrr.org
AIDS Walk
When: May 19; check-in at 8:30am, start at 10am
Where: Central Park
More info: aidswalk.net
There are numerous notable running and walking affairs throughout May, but here's a representative sample: Icahn Stadium welcomes children ages 4 through 15 for a day of "running, jumping and throwing events" that will help them stay in shape and discover the joy of competition. It's an opportunity for budding track-and-field stars to compete where the pros do. In Kings County, meanwhile, the Brooklyn Half Marathon cuts a scenic route through the borough, passing through Prospect Park and finishing on the Coney Island boardwalk. Finally, also on May 19, the AIDS Walk raises funds to fight the disease via a 6.2-mile stroll through Central Park.

Thierry Henry
Courtesy, Getty Images for New York Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls Soccer
When: May 8, 19 and 26
Where: Red Bull Arena
Tickets: newyorkredbulls.com
The Red Bulls strive to get their 2013 campaign on track after a start that, it's fair to say, has fallen short of fans' expectations (not to say that it hasn't at least been entertaining). A match against the Los Angeles Galaxy highlights New York's May schedule; though the west coast club no longer features David Beckham, Landon Donovan has returned and brings some star quality opposite Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls.

FCA Manhattan Cup Fishing
When: May 17, check-in at 7:30am, event 9am–4pm
Where: Boats depart Chelsea Piers
More info: manhattancup.com
This Fisherman's Conservation Association catch-and-release event calls itself the "premier inshore fishing tournament in the Northeast," during which anglers take to the Hudson and attempt to hook the largest bluefish, striped bass and weakfish in the water. The competition attracts a mix of fishing pros and amateurs—especially Wall Street businesspeople. Registration is first-come, first-served, so be sure to register in advance at manhattancup.com if you're interested.

Gotham Girls Roller Derby
When: May 18, 7pm
Where: City College of New York
Tickets: brownpapertickets.com
The competitors of Gotham Girls Roller Derby skate fast and hit hard. You may not know what a jammer, blocker and pivot are when you enter the gym, but longtime followers can tell you that it won't be long before these ladies turn you into a hard-core fan. And as if the action in the rink weren't enough, the event also features spirit-boosting "jeerleaders." This bout pits the Queens of Pain against the Brooklyn Bombshells.

Adidas Grand Prix
Icahn Stadium. Photo: Joe Buglewicz

Adidas Grand Prix
When: May 25, 9am
Where: Icahn Stadium
Tickets: ticketalternative.com
International track-and-field stars Tyson Gay, David Rudisha, Blanka Vlašić and a slew of other elite athletes compete for glory and prize money on Randalls Island. It's a day of professional events, including the 100-meter dash, the pole vault and our personal favorite, the steeplechase. Plus, some lucky youngsters will compete for the title of Fastest Kid in the City.

Soccer at Yankee Stadium
Courtesy, Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea vs. Manchester City
When: May 25, 5:30pm
Where: Yankee Stadium
Tickets: ticketmaster.com
Two elite European football clubs compete in a novel setting as 2012 Champions League winner, Chelsea, faces that year's English Premier League titleholder, Manchester City, in the Bronx. For now, the Yankees are selling tickets only as part of a bundle with the June 11 Spain vs. Ireland match.

New York Liberty
Plenette Pierson of the New York Liberty. Courtesy, MSG Photos

New York Liberty vs. Tulsa Shock (Home Opener)
When: May 31, 7:30pm
Where: Prudential Center
Tickets: ticketmaster.com
Liberty fans will have to wait until September for a visit from Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury, but there's still plenty to be excited for as Bill Laimbeer—who starred in the futuristic video game Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball, by the way—and his team tip off their 2013 season. Cappie Pondexter is among the returning players who hope to lead New York to its first-ever WNBA title in their final season in New Jersey before returning to Madison Square Garden. The Prudential Center is just a PATH train ride away from Herald Square or Lower Manhattan.

Looking Ahead:
June 2: Honduras vs. Israel (soccer), Citi Field
June 2: NYC Mayor's Cup Lacrosse All-Star Games, Poly Prep Country Day School
June 6 and 13: Major League Lacrosse, Icahn Stadium
June 8: Belmont Stakes, Belmont Park
June 9: NYC Mayor's Cup Softball All-Star Game, College of Staten Island
June 11: Spain vs. Ireland (soccer), Yankee Stadium
June 15: NYC Mayor's Cup Baseball All-Star Game, MCU Park
June 17: Staten Island Yankees home opener, Richmond County Bank Ballpark
June 18: Brooklyn Cyclones home opener, MCU Park
June 22​: NYC's Mayor's Cup Cricket, Spring Creek Park 
July 4: Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, Nathan's Famous
July 8: CONCACAF Gold Cup, Red Bull Arena
July 16: Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Citi Field
September 21: Islanders vs. Devils (preseason), Barclays Center
February 2, 2014: Super Bowl XLVIII, MetLife Stadium
March 2014: NCAA Tournament, Madison Square Garden

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    Madison Square Garden
    2 Penn Plaza
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10121
  2. 2
    Citi Field
    126th St. and Roosevelt Ave.
    Queens – Flushing
    NY 11368
  3. 3
    Yankee Stadium
    1 E. 161st St.
    Bronx – South Bronx
    NY 10451
  1. 4
    Aviator Sports & Events Center
    3159 Flatbush Ave.
    NY 11234
  2. 5
    Icahn Stadium
    20 Randalls Island
    Manhattan
    NY 10035
  3. 6
    Coney Island
    Surf Avenue
    Brooklyn – Coney Island
    NY 11224
  1. 7
    Central Park
    110th St
    Multiple Locations
    NY
  2. 8
    Red Bull Arena
    600 Cape May St
    NJ 07029
  3. 9
    Prudential Center
    165 Mulberry St
    NJ

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