By John C. McLoughlin
Nearly three years after the Broad Channel Athletic Club (B.C.A.C.) began its efforts to purchase Memorial Field, the City of New decided this week to award sole ownership of the property along Cross Bay boulevard to the organization.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani informed Councilman Al Stabile that the land sale will be finalized and the property turned over from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) to the B.C.A.C. Now the city and B.C.A.C. will work out the specifics of the land sale once boundaries are formulated, since some of property belongs to Gateway National Recreation Area. Stabile also was informed that the city would meet with all parties involved to secure sections of the parking lot for use by the B.C.A.C.
"The parking lot issue will be worked out because it would be ridiculous for the B.C.A.C. to have a field with no parking," Stabile said. "While the parking lot issue will be dealt with shortly, the main portion of the fight, the ballfields, is finally at an end."
Stabile recognized Congressman Anthony Weiner and Assembly-woman Audrey Pheffer as two individuals who assisted the B.C.A.C. in this effort to purchase the field, but noted that "Margaret Wager deserves a round of applause for her dedication." Wagner, a B.C.A.C. member, has spent the past three years denouncing the city’s inability to make a decision, leaving the future of the field unclear as the expiration date of the Broad Channel Land Sale Bill neared. Wagner also rallied the Broad Channel community to keep Memorial Field in the hands of an organization focused on families, children and recreation.
"I still can’t believe we got the field," said Wager. "The children have won."
The B.C.A.C. has leased Memorial Field from the city for more than 35 years, renovating and transforming the once weeded lot into a community-utilized field for little league, football and soccer.