Nobody Cry When Jaws Die, Everybody Cry When Indoor Soccer Field Dies at Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Brooklyn Paper reports on the death of the Brooklyn Bridge Park planned indoor soccer field bubble thingy. For some reason all we can think of is John Belushi as Dino De Laurentis declaring that “no one cries when Jaws die…”:

Brooklyn Paper: Brooklyn Bridge Park won’t get its much-touted indoor soccer field because the city failed to attract developers for it — prompting locals to slam the city for deliberately bursting the recreational bubble.

On Thursday, park officials quietly announced that they received no offers to develop the site — and wouldn’t continue seeking offers to construct and operate a seasonal facility on Pier 5, despite assurances from local pols that the winter-proof field would be up and running by the end of 2012.

“This was designed to fail,” said Roy Sloane, president of the Cobble Hill Association. “[Under city rules], developers would have to put in a lot of money, have it open only four months a year, and charge very reasonable prices. Did that sound like something the city was serious about?”

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  • Jorale-man

    So where does this leave the plans going forward? Are they going to stop work on the pier altogether or just scale down the plans to not include an indoor bubble? (I thought the bubble was on Pier 2, incidentally, where the steel framework sits over the pier still. The renderings don’t show any indoor stuff for Pier 5.) The article, while a nice scoop, leaves a couple key questions unanswered.

  • resident

    So what’s the alternative, Mr. Sloane? Should the Park have expanded their money on something that was only useful four months of the year? Should the park have let an ugly bubble sit at the end of the park year round? Should the park have allowed exorbitant fees like the ones that killed the covered tennis courts proposal in Central Park?

    In the end, I don’t see this as all that terrible of a loss. Most winters (i.e. not last winter) we don’t go long periods of time with snow covered grounds. You can play soccer in cold weather, you can play football in any weather. And I guarantee that if a bubbled field was built, it would have been largely rented out for league play, which we all know didn’t go over to well around here for the day or two that the volleyball courts were rented for league play.

    This proposal was all about Squadron saying he filled a campaign promise, not something that was actually needed or important. An ice rink is much more practical to provide year round recreational opportunities in the park (Did I imagine that this is happening? Was it proposed and not done?).

  • resident

    Jorale-man: I believe the bubble was proposed to be just temporary in nature. Meaning one of the fields on Pier 5 would be covered in the winter and uncovered during the rest of the year. The covered pier 2 is to protect surfaces for sports that are difficult/dangerous to play in the rain, like basketball.

  • Jorale-man

    Thanks, @resident. That makes sense.

  • Gerry

    What the park needs is a pool an indoor Aquatics Center like Aspahlt Green on the East Side of Manhattan.

    With all of the development in downtown Brooklyn we still have no real pool just a few crummy small pools and the newer YMCA Pool which is not an oylmpic size pool.

    I say put in a pool where the soccer fields were to go and charge admission.

  • Western Brooklyn


    Next we may hear that Pier 5 has been proven unsuitable/unsustainable for a sports field, & a Donald Trumpish condo, hotel, or other high-rise needs to be built there.

  • EHinBH

    Thank God! I wish they would just plant some trees and grass there. Will be enough going on in that park when complete – we dont need a soccer field! There is one right on Cadman Plaza.

  • Jorale-man

    @EHinBH you make a good point about Cadman Plaza. I remember the NY Times architecture critic said that the park is too much about sports and complicated activities and not about simple relaxing. I generally admire what’s been done so far at BBP but sometimes they should realize that simpler is better.

  • sue

    This whole deal was all about Squadron and his campaign promises. First he runs on no more housing and adequate recreation in the park and agrees to it. Then he goes back on his promise. This is just in his third year in office.. He is a typical pol. Imagine how he will go back on his word in the future

  • Master Of Middagh

    Say- I really haven’t followed too much of the development since the early stages. Did they keep the dock for the canoes? You know, so all my neighbors who I see lugging around their canoes with nowhere to go can catch a break? That was a little ridiculous to me- I don’t really picture a lot of folks around here rushing out to buy personal non-motored watercraft to brave the fairly polluted river- and this is coming from a former oarsman.

  • stuart

    The construction of this park has been so fraught.
    Bloomberg’s city hall sees it as it sees everything: a revenue generating scheme. The city could not upzone Columbia Heights so instead new towers were planned to be built in the flood zone near pier 6. Unfortunately no one is interested in financing or building those towers right now. The bottom line is: no revenue, no park.

  • nystrele

    thank god… the bubble sounded like a hideous eyesore anyway. i agree with EHinBH. just plant some damn foliage and move forward. at this point i have a hard time believing we’re EVER going to have a park across the expanse of BKH waterfront… to the right from the promenade… lovely… to the left… useless if you’re not a parent.
    not one damn thing evolved all summer… and yet i continually get emails from the park folks inviting me to attend events — for $$$$$$.
    show me some progress from the city’s endowment, and then i might be willing to contribute to upkeep of an actual park.
    i almost (almost) miss the blue warehouses, at this point. sigh…

  • Andrew Porter

    When there were piers with ships from GranColumia unloading, you never knew when the cops would show up to confiscate another illegal drugs shipment. Gosh, I miss the old days…

  • Claire

    @Jorale-man, how can you relax at BBP anyway, with a tourist chopper buzzing the Piers every minute or so……?

  • x

    They need to be like Chelsea Piers and charge money for various fun activities… including trampoline, wall climbing, etc

    how about a roller skating/ice skating rink?

  • stuart

    “They need to be like Chelsea Piers and charge money”

    -This isn’t Manhattan. Rental prices may be high but Brooklyn is not a rich place.
    OK, DUMBO is rich, but those folks are not Brooklynites.

  • Knight

    @Claire: I enjoyed the park all summer. Never gave the choppers a thought. Once you accept in your mind that they’re there, it really is easy to ignore them.

  • Jorale-man

    I agree, the helicopters are a mild annoyance in the park (depending on time of day, frequency of flights) but not enough to ruin the experience. I’ll frequently go to Pier 1 to read and the open water and breezes go a long way for me. I think what I like most though is the cleanliness – it’s so well cared for and I never see evidence of dirtiness you see in some other parks.

  • stuart

    I hear helicopters now and then, don’t understand the fuss. Maybe the same kind of people that go ballistic if a menu from a local restaurant is left on their stoop. Oh noooooooo!!!!!

  • davoyager

    This is a prime example of where the “job creators” who are getting all the tax breaks say no thanks and walk away. And then Government needs to hire some people to get this project done. Government is the single biggest job creator there is contrary to the Republicrit lies I hear being parroted by the monied elite even here in Brooklyn Heights where they should know better.

  • Gerry

    @ me – yes I suspect that most of my neighbors on Montague Terrace and Columbia Heights are loaded with grand homes here second homes in Connecticut and Pennsylvania and memberships at the Heights Casino.

  • Maestro

    Rich folks have feelings too……

  • stuart

    there are a few rich people in Brooklyn Heights but they are so cheap and odd it doesn’t count.

  • GHB

    Stuart, WTF does that mean?

  • Still here


    Squadron was against all housing in the park except where he was for it. He has always supported housing on Pier 1 and now DUMBO ConEd lot.

    Why the suprprise?