The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that, thanks to Councilman Vincent Gentile, the NYC Parks Department and Mayor Bloomberg, Ben Vitale Fields – a sports complex near where Poly Place meets 14th Avenue – can now host night games.
The stadium lights, which cost a cool $1.7 million, were the brainchild of local youth sports advocate Nick “Buff” Maglio, who died earlier this year on April 17, at age 65.
From the Eagle:
“Buff made sure the Parks Department and I made this happen and I know he’s smiling up in heaven as we switch the lights in his honor,” Gentile said, as Maglio’s widow, Carmen Maglio, looked on.
Maglio was a founder of the Kiwanis Flag Football League, now known as Brooklyn Extreme Flag Football. He also promoted safety in sports and advocated for the use of wooden bats, as opposed to metal bats, in little league baseball.
Gentile secured $1 million in the city budget for the lights. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had the rest put into the budget.
At an emotional ceremony, Field 1-A was dedicated in Maglio’s honor.
In addition to Carmen Maglio, attendees included underage athletes from several local youth athletic organizations which will benefit from the lights. They include the Meyerstein/Brooklyn Kiwanis League, the Dyker Heights Athletic Association/St. Bernadette Knights, and the Brooklyn Extreme Flag Football program.
Members representing both New Utrecht High School and the High School of Telecommunication Arts & Technology, who both use the fields, were also at the ceremony.
Councilman Vincent Gentile represents City Council District 43, which includes Bay Ridge, as well as parts of Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst