2006-05-05 / Sports

Aviator Complex To Host FDNY-NYPD Game

By Elio Velez

Congressman Anthony Weiner (left) presents the plans for the Aviator Sports Complex along with President/CEO Erik Stevens at Floyd Bennett Field last Tuesday. Photo By Elio Velez.Congressman Anthony Weiner (left) presents the plans for the Aviator Sports Complex along with President/CEO Erik Stevens at Floyd Bennett Field last Tuesday. Photo By Elio Velez. The 34th annual FDNY-NYPD Fun City Football Bowl game will be the centerpiece for the sneak preview opening of the new Aviator Sports Complex at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn on May 20 at 3 p.m.

Last Tuesday afternoon, Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/ Queens) and Erik Stevens President/ CEO of Aviator Sports held a press conference for the 170,000 square, $40 million recreational complex.

The project, which has taken three years to renovate the old airport terminal hangers, will house basketball, hockey and other facilities which open to the public in mid-September.

With construction still underway in most areas of Floyd Bennett Field, the combination soccer/football field has already been laid on the pavement just outside the gates near Flatbush Avenue.

The field turf is an upgrade of the similar type fields used at Giants Stadium and renovated grounds like Beach Channel High School. It will be the stage for the first event to open the park, which be held in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Floyd Bennett Field.

The FDNY-NYPD football game has been an intense and popular annual battle but haven't found a permanent home to stage the game.

In the past few years, the Funcity Bowl has been played at Hofstra Stadium and previously held at Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island. In 2005, the NYPD defeated the FDNY 28-10.

Stevens, the CEO of Aviator Sports, a private company working in partnership with the National Park Service which operates Floyd Bennett Field, said the site will host the game for the next three years.

"It's a popular game and it attracts thousands of fans but they have to find a new site every year," Stevens said. "We have the facilities, the free parking and lots of fireman and police officers who lives in Brooklyn, Breezy Point and Rockaway who will come out to the game."

Permanent and temporary seating should hold about 6000 to 8000 people who are expected to attend.

Contests and games for children and adults will also be held during the game. With the opening of the Aviator Sports Complex, Rockaway will have access to athletic facilities that can be easily reached by car or public transportation Weiner said.

A noted hockey fan, Weiner had to travel to Chelsea Piers twice a week to compete in games. With two NHL regulation size ice rinks inside, people can gain access for ice time instead of at maxed out facilities at Abe Stark Rink in Coney Island and Long Beach.

For people who will enjoy basketball, gymnastics, rock climbing and even eat at restaurants inside the facility, Weiner says the complex should provide a wide range of options to choose from. "This is place that people looked at in the past driving by on Flatbush Avenue and look at it as a forbidding pace. The community can now access to the chance to use a world class facility."

Tickets for the game are $12 in advance and $15 at the door (if available). Kids under 12 can enter for free. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bravestfootball.com or www.ny pdfootball.com or by leaving a voicemail at 718-601-9168.

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