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Parade Ground

The Daily Plant : Monday, July 21, 2003

$2 MILLION SPRUCES UP FIELDS AT HISTORIC PARADE GROUND


Once the stomping ground of baseball legends, including Sandy Koufax and Joe Torre, the historic Parade Ground in Prospect Park is receiving a complete overhaul. On Tuesday, July 15, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Prospect Park Alliance Chairman Henry Christensen III, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, along with players from the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Cyclones' team mascot Sandy the Seagull, and representatives from local youth athletic leagues to cut the ribbon to celebrate latest athletic field renovation at the Parade Ground.

The $2 million renovation of Fields 7 & 8 is part of Phase II of the Parade Ground multiphase restoration. Both fields have received new team water fountains and improved drainage. The fields have been carpeted with brand new artificial turf. This turf, constructed of soft plastic and crushed rubber pebbles lasts longer, drains easier, and requires far less maintenance than traditional grass fields.

"Artificial turf is the wave of the future, and we are surfing on that wave," said Commissioner Benepe. "If the surface is good enough for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, it is good enough for the children of New York City."

The Commissioner, dubbed an "honorary Brooklynite" by Borough President Markowitz, thanked the Prospect Park Alliance and the Brooklyn Cyclones for all their efforts in providing and maintaining quality athletic opportunities for New York City's children.

An estimated 500,000 visitors annually use the 135-year-old recreational hot spot for baseball, softball, soccer and football. "The opening of these two Fields will benefit the organized teams and community members who already use the site and enhance the quality of life of the neighboring communities," said Tupper Thomas, Prospect Park Administrator and Prospect Alliance President.

Young baseball athletes will enjoy playing on Field 7. The renovated ballfield has new bullpens, a warning track, athletic lighting, and homerun fence. Soccer enthusiasts will get a kick out of Field 8. Future David Beckhams and Mia Hamms will be able to hone their skills on the new field outfitted with soccer stripes, goal posts and benches.

The remainder of Phase II of the Parade Ground reconstruction includes the revitalization of Field 3. The new baseball field is slated to have spectator stands, stepdown covered dugouts, bat and hat racks, warning tracks, a batter's eye, a scoreboard, water fountains, and more. This project is scheduled to be complete by next spring.

At the ceremony, the Prospect Park Alliance officially announced its Parade Ground Corporate Campaign, the establishment of a $6.2 million Park and Parade Ground Maintenance Fund. This fund will ensure that Prospect Park and the Parade Ground receives top-notch maintenance.

Council Member Joseph P. Addabbo, President and CEO of Independence Community Bank Alan Fishman, and Chair of Community Board 14 Alvin Berk shared tremendous enthusiasm for the new fields. Liam Kavanagh, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Julius Spiegel and Nancy Barthold, Assistant Commissioner for Capital Projects also lent their support.

At the bottom of ninth, Brooklyn Cyclones’ players, Steve Correa and Matthew Lindstrom tossed a few pitches to break-in the new mound. Several officials, Parkies and children took a turn at bat, but no one hit one out of the park… this time.

Written by Jocelyn Aframe

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Two souls with but a single thoughts,

Two hearts that beat as one."

Friedrich Halm

(1806-1871)

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