Neighbors To Fight For Di Gilio Playground Hockey Space At ‘Save The Rink’ Game Saturday, December 20

Neighbors To Fight For Di Gilio Playground Hockey Space At ‘Save The Rink’ Game Saturday, December 20

Di Gilio Playground hockey playersPhoto courtesy Michael Welch

Worried that the hockey rink at the Di Gilio Playground on McDonald Avenue between Avenue F and 18th Avenue will soon be destroyed, neighborhood athletes are inviting the community to a “Save the Rink” game tomorrow, December 20, at 1pm. The event will be held at the playground.

“The Di Gilio playground is due for a facelift, and the city is considering knocking down the hockey rink that we love,” neighbor Michael Welch wrote to us. “A lot of kids use that rink for soccer as well.”

As of now, the city has plans for a $3 million reconstruction project at the playground that would replace the rink with an adult workout area. Councilman David Greenfield, who has pushed for the project, has said there are too few players using the rink to justify keeping it – something with which neighbors vehemently disagree.

“It’s a couple of dozen people using it illegally on the weekend versus renovating space where thousands can use it 365 days a year,” Greenfield told The Brooklyn Paper. “The cost-benefit was pretty clear.”

Di Gilio playground hockey rinkPhoto via NYC Parks Department

Welch said he and other players are hoping to prove to the legislator that this isn’t the case with tomorrow’s game, which is being organized by the Brooklyn Roller Hockey Facebook group.

“There are a lot of us that play hockey a few times a week at the rink, and it is an important part of our lives,” Welch wrote to us.

According to the city, the schematic design for the playground reconstruction project has been approved internally at the Parks Department and is “going through review by the community board and external regulatory agencies for comment and approval.” The project is expected to be completed by July 2015.


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