From the Brooklyn Paper:
Borough President Markowitz’s controversial plan for an amphitheater in a Coney Island park will seize nearly three-quarters of the park’s already insufficient area for active recreation.
The $64-million concert venue in Asser Levy Seaside Park along Surf Avenue between Ocean Parkway and W. Fifth Street will commandeer the vast majority of the two-football-field-sized main green with a large concrete seating area and a gradually sloping lawn that will rise up to 21 feet.
As a result, the active recreation space in the park — currently about 2-1/2 acres — will shrink to less than one acre.
And park users are not happy.
The city says that it hasn’t decided exactly what kinds of activities will be permitted on the elevated lawn — intended as a viewing area for outdoor concerts — but sports certainly won’t be one of them.
When the field is replaced, the closest similar field will be at Kaiser Park, located on the western end of Coney Island between West 23rd street and Bayview Avenue, about 1-1/2 miles away.
Meanwhile, the city has already begun soliciting operators for the proposed amphitheater — ahead of a required Environmental Assessment which has yet to be completed.
Parks Department officials insist that active recreational programming — including everything from a skate park to an ice-skating rink — will still be possible underneath the amphitheater’s roof when concerts are not being staged. But there are no guarantees: The venue’s $64-million pricetag won’t cover the cost of creating those facilities, however.