Brooklyn on Verge of Professional Sports Resurgence

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Just over 13 years ago Brooklyn didn’t possess any professional teams of its own, leaving the sports-crazed region with a tremendous void. That’s all changed.

Presently, the Borough of Kings features three professional sports organizations, and the New York Islanders will join the group for the 2015-16 campaign, putting a stamp on the Brooklyn sports renaissance.

But Brooklyn sports did experience an age of darkness. When the Brooklyn Dodgers jettisoned the borough for Los Angeles in 1957, it left several Brooklynnites disgruntled.

The Brooklyn Cyclones during the 2012 season.

The Brooklyn Cyclones during the 2012 season.

Sports fans all over the area suffered without a professional athletic team until the Brooklyn Cyclones, the short-season minor league Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets, brought baseball back to Kings County after a 44-year absence.

With the Cyclones thriving in Coney Island, the Brooklyn Nets—the first major league franchise since the Dodgers—followed suit by moving from New Jersey to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in June of 2012.

This season, the Brooklyn Bolts, a minor league football team in the Fall Experimental Football League, have joined the block party, with MCU Park in Coney Island serving as their home. The FXFL serves as a developmental platform for players, coaches and referees.

With the Bolts, the borough’s first professional football team since 1949, Brooklyn has returned to the forefront of the New York City sports scene.

“The spectacular growth of the sports industry in Brooklyn is an indication of just how hot our borough is,”  said Carlo A. Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, at a press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall before the season commenced.

“We hadn’t had a team in five decades, and now the Bolts are Brooklyn’s fourth professional sports franchise since 2001. This is a major addition for all of Brooklyn, particularly Coney Island, which will now have a sports attraction that extends beyond the summer months.”

The Brooklyn Bolts during a press confrence before the season.

The Brooklyn Bolts during a press confrence before the season.

Though Brooklyn had variations of Single-A hockey at Aviator Sports and Event Center in recent years, the NHL’s Islanders are top level hockey, and should inject a decent  amount of excitement into borough’s sports landscape.

As a sports writer and fan, I love the fact that there are a number of teams, on different levels, in my own backyard for me to write about, and go to games as a supporter. I know numerous sports enthusiasts feel the same way. Let’s just hope the teams are here for the long haul.

 

About the author

Jerry Del Priore is a veteran freelance sports writer from Brooklyn, New York, who covers a variety of professional, college and high school sports for a number of print and digital publications. In addition, Del Priore is the author of Running Through Roadblocks: Inspirational Stories of Twenty Courageous Athletic Warriors, available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

View all articles by Jerry Del Priore
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