Thursday, November 15, 2007

Beach Soccer on Coney Island?

The New York Times' Jack Bell put forth an interesting idea in his 'Soccer Notebook' column yesterday:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has proposed a $2.5 billion redevelopment plan for Coney Island. The proposal, unveiled last week, calls for the transformation of an 11-block stretch of beachfront. But perhaps Bloomberg should consider offering Coney Island in a bid, in conjunction
with the United States Soccer Federation, to play host to the FIFA Beach World Cup in 2010. Next year's tournament will be played in Marseille, France, and the 2009 event will be in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

The city has already found sports to be a good draw at Coney Island in the form of Cyclones baseball and the volleyball tournament. There is no reason why it couldn't also work with soccer, which is probably the most popular sport in the world at this point. The 2006 Beach World Cup in Rio de Janeiro brought in almost 156,000 spectators. The event could bring a huge influx of revenue into Coney Island, assuming that by 2010 there are viable amusement and retails areas built for the fans to spend their money at. Furthermore, considering the international nature of Brooklyn, and the increasing popularity of soccer in America, the Beach World Cup could be something that would engage not only tourists, but New York residents as well.

- post by Ben Nadler

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