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N-ice place for slippery sports and fun – QNS.com

N-ice place for slippery sports and fun

Dust off your skates, because Flushing Meadows-Corona Park has now become a destination location for sports and fun – for kids and adults alike – with the official opening of the World Ice Arena.
“This is a world-class facility here in Queens,” said Borough President Helen Marshall at the ribbon cutting on Thursday, March 19.
The new rink, which opened its doors in February, is National Hockey League (NHL) regulation-sized. It is the final part of a $66.3 million project that includes a pool too, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Marshall and former Borough President Claire Shulman funded it. It is the largest facility ever built in a city park, at 110,000-square-feet.
The park’s former ice rink, The New York City Ice Rink, which was built for the 1939-1940 World’s Fair, will be demolished and used to expand the Queens Museum.
“This skating rink and this entire building, which includes a pool next door, took almost 10 years to complete,” said Marshall, who noted that more than $13 million of the money needed to build the facility was allocated from the Borough President’s Capital discretionary dollars.
“I wish I was a kid again,” said City Councilmember John Liu, who represents the area. “This is going to be an attraction for New Yorkers from all over the city.”
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe agreed.
“Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is now the premier athletic destination in Queens . . . With the World Ice Arena, the newly-opened Al Oerter Recreation Center across the street, the brand new Aquatics Center, the expanded Billy Jean King USTA and the new Citi Field, New Yorkers can skate, swim, bike, row, play tennis, watch baseball, play ball and lift weights without ever leaving the park.”
The ice rink is also handicap-accessible and tailored to accommodate paraplegics who play sled hockey.
Commissioner Matthew Sapolin from the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities said that they are often overlooked when it comes to recreation.
“I am proud to say that all levels of accessibility are met,” he said.
The event featured an array of ice sports including a sled hockey demonstration and ice dancing performances by Ice Theatre of New York, who will be providing free performances and skating clinics at the World Ice Arena in April and May.
The ice rink also offers hockey clinics for youth, adolescents and adults. Those in attendance at the event received hockey pucks and towels from the New York Rangers.
Ice skating lessons are available as well. Interested parties can contact the rink by calling 718-760-9001 or visiting their web site at www.worldice.com.
– With additional reporting by Mallory Tokunaga

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