I am somewhat disturbed by Congressman Wiener and Wave columnist Howard Schwach's support for a sports complex in Floyd Bennett Field.
Yes, it would be nice to see the deteriorating airfield put to some use that would benefit the whole city. However, to say that putting a sports complex there would specifically benefit the Rockaway peninsula is absolutely ridiculous.
If you think that people are going to travel from other parts of the city to such a remote and otherwise desolate destination, to spend their hard earned money at an elaborate and most assuredly expensive sports complex, and then pay an additional toll to get to the beach, then you are sadly mistaken. It may however, attract some Rockawayites out across the bridge to Brooklyn only to have them then continue on further up Flatbush Avenue to Kings Plaza afterwards. Is this what is in the best interest of Rockaway? Somehow I think not.
I believe a far better scenario would be for people to travel to the not as desolate area of Rockaway to spend their money at an elaborate and yes, probably expensive sports complex and then walk across the street to cool off at the beach. This scenario is far more beneficial to Rockaway and its residents since it will not only attract people (and their money) to the peninsula but will also keep Rockaway's own people (and money) here.
The fact that we have prime beach front real estate like Arverne laying
waste is a disgrace. Now when the opportunity to turn that property around presents itself our politicians and media look elsewhere. It's attitudes like this that have turned Rockaway into the depressed area that it is. Turning Floyd Bennett Field into a historical aviation center will not cause the adverse economical and psychological effect on Rockaway that a sports complex would.
While the economical effects are obvious, it's my mention of psychological effects that may have some people scratching their heads. No one looks at Rockaway and thinks aviation, so putting a historical site on the peninsula would not make much sense. However, a sports complex is a completely different story. This is something that would be a very feasible business venture in this area and to lose it to another community so close to ours would be very damaging. I implore you to rethink your position on this subject.
WILLIAM J. MOLLOY