Fields of dreams: Randalls Island has become a top city sports destination
Sunday, May 23rd 2010, 4:00 AM
There’s some brightness in this era of dismal developments: New York City has a great new athletic and recreational resource on Randalls Island.
Ballplayers of all ages and every kind of ball are flocking to 62 new or renovated fields in a spectacular complex that was formally opened last week. There are spaces for baseball, softball, football and soccer, not to mention lacrosse, field hockey, rugby and cricket, all spectacularly set in the East River where the Triborough Bridge links Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens.
Added to the 5,000-seat Icahn Stadium for track and field, the 20-court Sportime tennis center and a golf minicourse and driving range, the fields make Randalls Island a destination like no other in the five boroughs.
The city and state spent $130 million and three years building the facility amid needless controversy over a plan to tap private schools for $52 million of the money in return for guaranteeing their teams some access to the fields. That money is ridiculously tied up in court.
So be it. Meanwhile, you can reach the island via the Triborough, aka the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, or by foot or bike from 103rd St. and the FDR Drive. A walking and biking span from the Bronx is under construction. Play ball!