Controversy Continues Over Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse

Design for the 115,000-square-foot cycling & recreational Fieldhouse planned near Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 has been tweaked, with additional space for sports other than cycling and fewer spectator seats for cycling events, but critics still want to apply the brakes to the controversial project.

Greg Brooks, executive director of New York City Fieldhouse Inc., insists there is “demand and a need for indoor recreation space,” in the latest story about the facility in The New York Daily News. But Peter Flemming, co-chair of the BBP Community Council, believes, “No matter how they say it, this is first & foremost a cycling arena. It’s a bad thing for this park.”

The cycling track will be elevated on support beams to increase rec space to 25,000 square feet, which will allow more simultaneous activities, Brooks says. There will also be moveable equipment for basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton; with fencing, martial arts, kickball and gymnastics also slated. Additionally, plans called for 2,499 fixed spectator seats and up to 3,300 with temporary seating and standing room. That number has been sliced to 1,200 fixed, and up to 2,000 with temp seating and standing room.

But because of its lack of parking, Brooklyn Heights Association president Jane McGroarty fears traffic snarls: “It’s a potential nightmare,” she says, adding that fans driving in from New England and the mid-Atlantic states will create havoc in the neighborhood. She also claims rec-center fees will be a “challenge for working people with children in Brooklyn.”

As previously reported, the fieldhouse is being funded with a $40 million donation from Joshua Rechnitz. The BBP board and the state must vote to approve the project before the Fieldhouse proceeds.

(Photo: NY Daily News)

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  • BKJoe

    Traffic will be along Furman Street (as it will be for the hotel, marina, tennis courts etc.). Those concerned about traffic should be residents of Dumbo, Columbia/Hicks south of Atlantic, and Atlantic Ave itself. Visitors of the park/hotel/marina/velodrome won’t be parking or driving in the heights as access to the waterfront from there is actually not that easy (unless walking across the footbridge currrently under construction). Consideration for visitors arriving on foot or by bike will continue to be important.

    Hopefully the architects of the velodrome have considered the use of the roof of the building which will be a highly visible element of the building, as well as a valuable piece of the park at a higher elevation. Integrating the structure with the scale of the park is the real challenge, but done well could make it a wonderful destination and add to the eclectic appeal of the park. Done poorly though, it could be an eyesore and a serious lost opportunity.

  • Gerry

    We need an indoor pool an Aquatics Center like Asphalt Green on the east side of Manhattan a place that opens early 530am and stays open till 11pm at night

  • Eddyenergizer

    Typical NIMBYism, they complain about what they don’t want but no one offers realistic suggestions for a better use of the area.

  • Victor

    Have anyone ever thought about what the velodrome do to the cycling culture of NYC??? As well as the sport in NYC? No, some people worry about their parking space or their views of the skyline. For crying out loud, what is more important? To produce top cycling athletes from NYC? Or your little precious parking space?

  • Arch Stanton

    Yeah so many people here shortsighted. they don’t think about the fact that once the event is over the parking spaces will be vacated, leaving many open spots to feast upon.

  • David on Middagh

    It is not important to produce top cycling athletes from NYC.

  • fast_walker

    Sports Fan, I was in agreement until you mentioned a legitimate concern of outsiders in the area….whose concern is this? We don’t live in a gated community – this is NY city. I want as many tennis-playing cash spending outsiders as possible. I’m tired of seeing empty store-fronts in BH. And I want East River Ferry to extend their service to Pier 6 (on which bikes are allowed btw).

  • robert1moore1

    Controversy Continues Over Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse, i found this information,,,thanks for sharing this information!””