The NBA has announced that the Wizards' Saturday home game against the Jazz is postponed due to a blizzard that is hitting the Washington, D.C. area. The storm began on Friday in the early afternoon and is not expected to end until the early hours of Sunday morning.
As of the time of this posting, a new date has not been scheduled. It also raises questions to the public as to why the NBA would wait until the very last minute to reschedule a game when everyone and his/her mother knew what was coming.
1. Scheduling - The NBA schedules games in major multi-purposes arenas months in advance. Dates for NBA, NHL, college games, concerts, and more events fill up quickly. The Verizon Center holds over 200 events a year which include the Capitals, the Mystics, Georgetown men's basketball, Justin Bieber and One Direction concerts, horse shows, circuses, and more. All of these events are scheduled months in advance.
Traveling acts like Justin Bieber and One Direction are moving from one city to another, one day to the next when they are on tour. Their considerations are also important. As two of the biggest popular music acts out there, they also bring in revenue for Monumental Sports, so it's not a good idea to screw with them.
Rescheduling NBA games is a nightmare for the venues and for the teams themselves. It could force venues to hold two games in one night, like an NBA and NHL game on the same day, or reduce buffer time when an arena is converting itself from a sporting event to a circus among other things.
For the teams themselves, there may be some wacky travel schedules in order to make things work. So it is not surprising to see the NBA hold off until the last minute to make its announcement.
2. Team Travel - There is a common sentiment that the games have to be filled with fans in the stands for a game to go on. That is true. The NBA wants fans to attend games for all of its teams.
But when events like bad weather or unrest -- like the Baltimore Orioles' empty home game on April 29, 2015 due to city riots -- happen, that does not mean that the game cannot go on. All a game needs are the players, coaches, officials, stat keepers, and key media members.
If this game could have been played -- even if no one went to the Verizon Center on Saturday -- it would happen. For example, if the Utah Jazz were already in Washington Friday night instead of being in New York City and there are a team of officials in Washington already, then there is a higher chance that the game will happen.
College and school teams travel less often than professional teams, and their facilities are used less frequently than professional teams' are because the athletes are also attending classes. Therefore, it tends to be easier to postpone events for these teams.
The bottom line is that the game is rescheduled, and I'm sure that the NBA knew for days that this game would likely be delayed. The thing we wanted to point out is that rescheduling these games is not as easy as it sounds.