New Sports Fields and Picnic Peninsula On Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park

By - DEC. 13, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg today opened Pier 5
at Brooklyn Bridge Park, a $26 million five-acre former shipping pier that is
now home to three multi-purpose sports fields and an adjacent picnic peninsula.
The configuration of the fields is adaptable, serving a variety of sports
throughout the seasons - two of the fields can be combined to create a
regulation soccer field for collegiate competition, or one field may be divided
to accommodate youth soccer matches, and the fields will accommodate lacrosse,
rugby, cricket, flag football and ultimate Frisbee. In addition, Squibb Park
Bridge, a 244-foot bridge that connects the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood to
the park, is slated to be completed in the next several weeks.

The Mayor was
joined by Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Conservancy Executive Director Nancy Webster, Brooklyn Borough President Marty
Markowitz, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Joan Millman,
Councilmember Steve Levin, New York City Parks Commissioner Veronica White, New
York Red Bulls General Manager Jérôme de Bontin, Goalkeeper Ryan Meara and
Forward Kenny Cooper, St. Francis College President Brendan J. Dugan and student
athletes from St. Francis College.

The beautiful and innovative
Brooklyn Bridge Park has quickly become one of the main attractions in the
newly revitalized New York harbor," said Mayor Bloomberg. "In summer 2012, the
park welcomed 90,000 visitors per weekend. Starting today, New Yorkers and
tourists alike will have even more reasons to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park."

"Since it opened, visitors from all
five boroughs and all around the world have enjoyed Brooklyn Bridge Park," said
Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. "This new pier is  the next step in the ongoing development of
the park and will provide even more opportunities for recreation and enjoyment."

"Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the
City's finest examples of adaptive reuse," said Commissioner White. "And
with the opening of Pier 5, this once barren space will come alive with a
variety of sports and activities for visitors to enjoy.  We look forward
to increasing access to this popular park with the installation of the Squibb
Park Bridge."

"We are thrilled to be opening the
park's first active recreation pier," said Regina Myer, Brooklyn Bridge Park
President. "This marks a major turning point for BBP and opens up a realm of
possibilities for park visitors who seek more than just enjoying the fantastic
landscape, great programming and breathtaking views. In addition, the Squibb
Park Bridge, once completed, will provide a unique connection between
Brooklyn's urban landscape and the park by providing a dramatic descent to the

"The community's vision of a
vibrant, world-class waterfront park takes another giant step forward today
with the opening of the Pier 5," said Nancy Webster, Executive Director of
the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. "Sweeping playing fields, a picnic
peninsula, and a new pedestrian bridge will add to the stunning views, rolling
lawns, and waterfront paths we have come to love in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Thank
you to Mayor Bloomberg and his administration for their commitment and
leadership and to our local elected officials for their crucial support in
bringing us to this day. And congratulations to Regina Myer and the BBP team,
who with heart and tenacity, are building the city's most exciting, beautiful,
and sustainable new waterfront park."

"Whether your ‘goal' is to play
soccer, lacrosse, cricket and rugby or, like me, you prefer to relax on the
sidelines with a great meal in the Picnic Peninsula, Brooklyn Bridge Park's
Pier 5 truly offers something for everyone, said Borough President Markowitz.
"Brooklyn Bridge Park attracts visitors from all around the world, and now they
can take in the spectacular view, have a BBQ, and enjoy the international
sports that will be hosted on the new year-round playing fields. Kudos to Mayor
Bloomberg, Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer, and the Brooklyn Bridge
Park Conservancy and its executive director, Nancy Webster, who have really
‘scored' with Pier 5 and the soon-to-be-completed Squibb Park Bridge-which I
was proud to support-and continue to transform our very own ‘Eden on the East
River' into one of the world's premier urban green spaces."

"The opening of Pier 5 means
another major step as we build a real world-class Brooklyn Bridge Park," 
said Senator Squadron. "From Pier 5 and its regulation-size field, the Squibb
Park Bridge, and the pop-up pool, to the tennis courts, bubble, skating rink,
permanent pool, and other community priorities we'll continue to work towards,
the uses and access the community have long advocated are becoming reality. The
City and BBP deserve real credit for getting the Pier 5 fields and picnic area,
as well as the bridge, open so that more people can visit, play in, and enjoy
Brooklyn Bridge Park. Senator Squadron, who, along with Assemblymember Millman,
negotiated an agreement last year that secured funding and recreation and
allowed park construction to move forward. 

"Today, we celebrate another
milestone for Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) with the completion of Pier 5 we now
have three sport fields, a picnic area with barbeque grills and easy access to
the Park from the Squibb Park Bridge,"  said Assemblymember Millman." The
sport fields will provide for a much needed soccer field for collegiate competition
and for youth soccer matches and can also be used for players and fans of
lacrosse, rugby, cricket and other games. I want to thank the Mayor, Brooklyn
Bridge Park Corporation, City Department of Parks and Recreation for improving
the connection between Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Also,
congratulations to the Park for receiving the Excellence in Design award from
the Public Design Commission for Squibb Park Bridge. "

"This new recreational pier is an
important milestone in the creation of this great new park for Brooklyn," said
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). "The facilities on this pier will
provide much needed open space and recreation, and the Squibb Park Bridge will
better connect city residents and visitors alike to this great waterfront resource."

"The opening of Pier 5 and the picnic
peninsula provide even more world-class recreation space on the Brooklyn
waterfront," said Councilmember Levin. "I am thrilled that, thanks to
the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and Regina Myer, local schools, sports
organizations, and individuals will finally have the opportunity to play
soccer, lacrosse or other sports close to home, against the backdrop of the
Manhattan skyline."

"This is an incredible
transformation" said Public Advocate de Blasio. "Pier 5 has been a long time in
the making and it's a tremendous success story that we are standing here today.
As a Brooklynite, I am incredibly proud of everything the city and this
community have accomplished here."

"As the New
York area's soccer team tasked with growing passion for the world's game, we
are proud to be part of the opening of Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park," said
Red Bulls General Manager Jérôme de Bontin. "It is a beautiful facility that
will serve thousands of sports and soccer enthusiasts. We look forward to
continue being involved with Pier 5 and Brooklyn Bridge Park for many years to

"Having this world class field as
home to our Division I Men's Soccer team as well as soccer clinics for children
in the community helps to further strengthen the bond between St. Francis
College and our Brooklyn Heights neighbors," said Brendan J. Dugan, President
of St. Francis College. We applaud the hard work and efforts of everyone
involved who made this dream a reality."

BBP will begin permitting the
fields for league play in spring 2013 during open park hours, and will provide
open play for the general public and free play for public schools. Because
BBP's electrical equipment sustained significant flood damaged during Hurricane
Sandy, there will be no evening play until the electrical equipment that
provides power to the pier lights is replaced.

Pier 5's synthetic turf fields are
supported by shock pad and an organic infill made of sand and coconut fibers.
In addition to padding the playing area, this infill will help decrease surface
temperature, creating a cooler experience for teams and spectators.  Shade
sails line the northern and southern sides of the pier to provide shade, and
there will be ample lighting for night play, with 30 light poles around the
perimeter of the fields. A 30-foot promenade surrounding the fields will offer
a unique opportunity for visitors to get out on the water and take in the
magnificent views of lower Manhattan and the New York Harbor. There will also
be an area for fishing equipped with bait preparation tables. Benches and
bleachers will provide friends and family members with the best seats in the

Adjacent to Pier 5 will be the
Picnic Peninsula, an area that includes picnic tables constructed out of salvaged
long leaf yellow pine, umbrellas for shade, a barbeque area with grills that
will accommodate more than two dozen grillers at a time, a concession area,
tetherball, and two play areas for children. The parkwide greenway will connect
through the Picnic Peninsula. Both Pier 5 and the Picnic Peninsula were
designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

At the opposite
end of the park at Pier 1, visitors will soon have another way to access the
park. The Squibb Park Bridge will provide a vital
circulation link for pedestrians near the center of the park. The bridge's
proximity to the surrounding community and to public transportation will offer
park visitors from around the city a convenient and dramatic approach to
Brooklyn Bridge Park. Designed by HNTB Corporation, the $5.9 million bridge is
slated to open before the end of the year.

The bridge will be composed of black locust timber, a
sustainable, naturally rot resistant material, with galvanized steel
connections, mesh panels and lit handrails. The design echoes the material
context of the existing industrial waterfront as well as the material palette
featured throughout the park. 

Squibb Park Bridge represents a
collaborative effort of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and numerous community groups
to improve opportunities for recreation and pedestrian connectivity in Brooklyn
Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park. HNTB Corporation was selected to design the
Squibb Pedestrian Bridge, working in close collaboration with Michael Van
Valkenburgh Associates, who have guided the park design. This project recently
received an Excellence in Design award from the Public Design Commission. It
was funded by Borough President Markowitz and Councilmember Levin, and included
in a 2010 Memorandum of Understanding agreed to by the City, Senator Squadron
and Assemblymember Millman that allowed for continued park progress.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation,
known as Brooklyn Bridge Park, is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the
planning, construction, maintenance and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, an
85-acre sustainable waterfront park stretching 1.3 miles along Brooklyn's East
River shoreline. The park was designed by the award-winning firm of Michael Van
Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.