Tag Archives: Aviator Field Sports & Events Center

New York Riveters, city’s first female pro hockey team, set to take ice

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy Aviator Sports and Events Center

The New York Islanders won’t be the only professional hockey team to call Brooklyn home this coming season.

The New York Riveters of the newly formed National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) will play their home games at the Aviator Sports and Events Center located at Floyd Bennett Field.

Nicknamed for the iconic World War II-era “Rosie the Riveter” poster that became a symbol for women’s rights, the Riveters are one of the four inaugural teams that begin the NWHL season this October along with the Connecticut Whale, Boston Pride and Buffalo Beauts. The Riveters will play their first home game at the 2,000-seat sports center on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. against the Boston Pride.

“Aviator is a great fit for the Riveters in so many ways,” said Dani Rylan, commissioner of the NWHL and general manager of the New York Riveters. “With a team playing in New York City we’re poised to kick off our inaugural season with a prime market for our players to shine. Also, historically Floyd Bennett Field was home to a naval air station, which dovetails very well with our logo and name. As the commissioner of the league and [general manager] of the team, I am happy to build a home in Brooklyn.”


After the season opener in Connecticut, the Riveters begin a three-game home stand, which includes the home opener against Boston, Oct. 25 against Connecticut and Nov. 15 against Boston. The Riveters will begin the new year by facing off against the Whale in a home-and-home series on Jan. 1 and 2.

“It’s exciting to play in Brooklyn,” said Meghan Fardelmann, a forward out of Boston College. “We’ll be in the heart of it all. Being in New York City helps us with the very important mission to grow the sport of hockey to families in New York City.”

The Riveters’ final home game of the regular season will be on Feb. 14 against Buffalo. The playoffs will follow the regular season, which ends in March. In the coming weeks, the Riveters will announce on-sale dates for season and single game tickets.

The Riveters will host theme nights at Aviator Sports and Events Center, linking the team to local and national charities throughout the season, with dates to be announced in the coming weeks. They include “Strides for the Cure” to support cancer patients and families and Military Appreciation Night benefitting Defending the Blue Line. There will also be a canned food and coat drive, youth hockey night and hockey parent appreciation night.

“For Aviator, this is a wonderful addition to the already strong hockey programming and community that we’ve built,” said Dean Rivera, chief operating officer at Aviator Sports and Events Center. “We’re proud of the reputation we have and are excited to once again be home to a professional team at Aviator.”


Middle Village-based Gottschee Soccer Club needs room to play

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Miguel Brunengo

The legendary Middle Village-based Blau Weiss Gottschee Soccer Club is so popular it’s literally outgrown the borough.

The soccer club, which remains one of the shining examples of high-level urban athletic competition, has so many players that it utilizes a scattered combination of public fields across the city and has gotten to a point where the league needs to turn young soccer hopefuls away.

The team’s main field is Brennan Field in Juniper Valley Park, but they also travel to practice at Randall’s Island, located between Manhattan and Queens in the East River, and they rent space for games at Aviator Field Sports & Events Center at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, to name a few locations.

“We’ve got [players] spread like seeds in the wind,” said Timon Kalpaxis, a youth coordinator. “Some guys have to schlep up to Randal’s Island just to train.”

The club was created in 1951 by Gottscheer immigrants, an ethnic German-speaking people of from what is now south central Slovenia.

A few decades ago a boom of Hispanic immigrants began entering the club. And as soccer’s popularity began to grow recently in the United States, more and more players have been coming to Gottschee.

The club currently has 30 registered teams in various age and skill divisions, numerous intramural programs and free clinics. During warm months it can accumulate nearly 1,000 players combined, sometimes from the Bronx, Long Island and even New Jersey.

Organizers want more Queens field space so their players can play at a centralized location.

“We not looking for a huge bite of the apple, we’re just looking for a nibble,” Kalpaxis said.

In searching for new fields to expand, Gottschee organizers have identified Grover Cleveland High School Athletic Field near Seneca Avenue and Deklab Avenue as a great location. The field is regulation size and has lights, so night practices and games would be possible.

The Department of Education (DOE) is currently revitalizing that particular soccer field.

“We are currently in the early stages of design with topographic surveys and storm system investigations underway,” said DOE spokesperson Marge Feinberg. “Construction duration will be determined after the surveys and investigations are complete.”

The soccer club has reached out for support from local leaders and politicians to help get access to it when it is completed.

“We are always open to working with them and supporting them,” said a spokesperson from Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley’s office. “We are very supportive of sports and culture programs that serve kids in the district.”

Gottschee attracts much attention from many top Division I schools.

From 2005 to 2012 more than 80 Gottschee players received scholarships to play soccer at well-known universities, including the University of Michigan, Duke, Villanova, Princeton, St. John’s, Holy Cross and Rutgers, just to name a few.

Coordinators said even with the Grover Cleveland field, their problem is part of a fundamental issue of lack of ball fields in the city.

“We lament the fact that we got kids running around getting into trouble, but what are we giving them,” Kalpaxis asked. “Where is the infrastructure for these kids?”