Cyclone(s) Set To Blow Into Brooklyn Town
By Neil S. Friedman
The first professional baseball game to be played in Brooklyn since the late 1950s will take place, weather permitting, next Monday!
More than 40 years after the Dodgers relocated to sunny California, leaving tens of thousands of despondent diehard fans in the wake, Brooklyn’s new "Field of Dreams," where the county’s new professional baseball team will play, was unveiled last week in a special press preview.
Just eleven days before the Brooklyn Cyclones take the field for the inaugural game at KeySpan Park in Coney Island a handful of media were given a behind-the-scenes look at the $39 million, 6,500-seat stadium’s lush field, dugouts, clubhouses and luxury skyboxes by co-hosts Robert B. Catell, chairman and CEO of KeySpan Corporation and Jeff Wilpon, the Cyclones’ executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Noting the fan response to the Cyclones, Wilpon stated, "Brooklyn residents still love baseball...it is a tribute to Brooklyn’s baseball fans who have embraced the Cyclones so quickly."
The dimensions of the field are about 320 feet down the left and right field lines and 415-feet to straight away center. The ballpark features a large-size, state-of-the-art video screen, an 18-foot high scoreboard, five concession stands from where fans can watch the game while standing in line for, among other things, peanuts, popcorn and Cracker Jacks. The park also provides panoramic views of the Coney Island beach, the ocean, the dormant parachute jump, and several blocks to the east, the world famous Cyclone rollercoaster for which the team gets its name.
A "Class A" affiliate of the New York Mets, the Cyclones play in the New York-Penn League, which consists of young player prospects selected in major league baseball’s amateur draft as well as former college players. Other area affiliates in the 10-team league include the Staten Island Yankees and the New Jersey Cardinals.
The Cyclones launched their debut season on Tuesday in Jamestown, NY, against the Jammers, affiliated with the Atlanta Braves. The debut game at KeySpan Park, which is sold out, is scheduled for next Monday at 7 p.m. versus the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Cleveland Indians).
Major league baseball’s Mets and Yankees rivalry could continue on a minor league level when the Cyclones play a two-game series against the Yankees on July 14 on Staten Island and the following day in Brooklyn. The KeySpan game is sold out.
In their debut season the Cyclones are scheduled to play 38 home games from June 25 through September 2nd. According to a spokesperson, nearly 75 percent of those tickets are already sold out. In addition, nine of the ten skyboxes have been sold. There is also a party deck that overlooks the third base line which can comfortably accommodate 50 people.
KeySpan Park is located at Surf Avenue and West 17th Street, in Coney Island. Parking for all home games is available adjacent to the stadium at Surf Avenue and 19th Street behind the Abe Stark Skating Rink.