Staten Island is ready to take its place as one of the premier track and field destinations in the nation.

The long-awaited $112 million Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex opened on Thursday — the first U.S. indoor track facility to be certified by the International Association of Athletics Federation.

“This is where national records can be set,” said IAAF member David Katz.

“This track meets the highest standards for sports. It’s a real jewel. The people of New York should be very proud.”

The 135,000 square foot complex features views of the Verrazano Bridge and a track that can be converted from eight to six lanes and incline up to 4.5 feet. There is also space for two long jump pits, one pole vault, a high jump, and two weight throwing areas.

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Parks Department Commissioner Mitchell Silver said the facility is a “home and training ground for children, high school students, collegiate and professional athletes, as well as an extraordinary year-round resource for the Staten Island community.”

Plans for the complex date back to the Giuliani Administration but it was developed during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure as part of his ambitious PlaNYC initiative. Although ground was broken in 2010, construction was halted when Hurricane Sandy slammed into Staten Island two years later.

Youngsters under the age of 18 can use the facility for free — when it is not being used for events. Annual membership fees for adult range from $25 for seniors and young adults 18-24 to $100 for adults between the ages of 25 and 61.

 

From: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/staten-island-opens-112m-track-field-complex-article-1.2441269

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