Press Release

Ice Theatre of New York christens World Ice Arena

Premier ice dance ensemble helps cut ribbon at Flushing Meadows rink

Elected officials, World Ice Arena managers, the New York Rangers sled hockey team, and dancers from ITNY wave the cut ribbon.
Elected officials, World Ice Arena managers, the New York Rangers sled hockey team, and dancers from ITNY wave the cut ribbon. (Daniel Avila, Parks & Recreation)

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(03/20/2009) - On Friday, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Council Member John Liu, Commissioner Matthew Sapolin from the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, World Ice Arena Managing Member Erik Ekstein and members of Community Board 7 cut the ribbon on the new World Ice Arena at Flushing Meadows Corona Park with ice athletes of all ages.

"Flushing Meadows Corona Park is now the premier athletic destination in Queens, thanks to generous allocations of funding from both Mayor [Rudolph] Giuliani and Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg and from the current and former Borough Presidents, Helen Marshall and Claire Shulman," said Commissioner Benepe. "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."

"This skating rink and this entire building, which includes a pool next door, took almost 10 years to complete," said Queens Borough President Marshall. "It is not only one of the largest recreational facilities ever built in a city park, but a prime example of the foresight involved in the allocation of the Borough President's Capital discretionary dollars -- in this case, more than $13 million of the $66 million needed to build this facility. Both I and my predecessor envisioned this day years ago and take great delight in today's proceedings."

Since opening its doors in February, the NHL regulation-sized World Ice Arena has hosted almost 20,000 ice skaters, from hockey players to figure skaters to speed skaters to community members who tried ice skating for the first time.

The event featured an array of ice sports, including a sled hockey demonstration and ice dancing performances by the Ice Theatre of New York, the nation's premier ice dance ensemble, which will be providing free performances and skating clinics at the World Ice Arena in April and May. To learn more, visit www.icetheatre.org. Participants also received hockey pucks and towels from the New York Rangers.

The Flushing Meadows Corona Park World Ice Arena is part of a $66.3 million project to build a pool and ice rink and was funded by Mayor Bloomberg, Queens Borough President Marshall and former Queens Borough President Shulman. It is the largest facility ever built in a city park at 110,000 square feet.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park, one of New York City's prized flagship parks, comprises 1,255 acres of beautifully landscaped lawns, lakes, fountains, athletic fields, playgrounds and a zoo. The park is also home to numerous cultural and athletic facilities, including the Queens Museum of Art, Queens Theatre in the Park, Citi Field and the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center.