FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSIONER ADRIAN BENEPE AND THE RANDALL'S ISLAND SPORTS FOUNDATION NAME NEW YORK CITY'S NEWEST ATHLETIC FACILITY ICAHN STADIUM
New Track and Field Stadium at Randall's Island Park to be Completed with $10 Million Gift from Carl Icahn
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, and Randall's Island Sports Foundation (RISF) Chair Richard J. Davis today announced that the Carl C. Icahn Foundation and The Icahn Charitable Foundation, both funded by Carl Icahn, internationally renowned financier, have committed $10 million to the new world-class track and field stadium on Randall's Island Park. The gift is the largest ever from a donor to a New York City park facility. Icahn Stadium, already in construction, will be the only state-of-the-art outdoor track and field venue in New York City designed to host local, national, and international competitions. The stadium will have seating for up to 10,000 spectators, a 400-meter running track, and a regulation-size soccer field, and will attract world-class events, while also providing a key resource to local communities and schools. The $40 million project is also funded by $20 million in public funds and another $10 million in private donations, and will be complete by fall 2004. Carl Icahn, Gail Icahn, Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Andrew Alper and RISF Founder and President Karen Cohen joined the announcement at the Arsenal, Parks & Recreation headquarters, in Central Park.
"Carl Icahn is a truly generous New Yorker who has supported this City in many ways, and we are grateful for his donation to this great facility," said Mayor Bloomberg. "With seating for up to 10,000 spectators, a 400-meter running track and a soccer field, Icahn Stadium will be a state-of-the-art outdoor track and field venue and provide fitness opportunities for all New Yorkers - especially for field competitions for local communities and schools. Icahn Stadium will be the centerpiece of Randall's Island."
"I am proud to be part of this much needed movement to help the underprivileged youth of New York," said Mr. Icahn. "Randall's Island Park is the ideal location to establish an athletic complex to fulfill this function."
"Parks & Recreation has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with the Randall's Island Sports Foundation," said Commissioner Benepe. "The construction of this new stadium is the result of years of campaigning and fund-raising efforts. It will allow us to expand our programming, offering our city's kids and athletes of all levels a desperately needed venue for track and field competitions, while helping to shape New York as the center of track and field."
The Department of Parks & Recreation, New York City EDC, and RISF are developing the state-of-the-art facility, which began construction in January 2003. Situated on the 25-acre northwestern waterfront area of Randall's Island Park known as the Great Lawn, Icahn Stadium will be visible from the East Side of Manhattan and from the FDR Drive. In addition to a full standard 400-meter running track flanked by covered spectator seating, the stadium will include modern locker rooms, showers special accommodations for the disabled and meeting rooms within the seating complex. A suspended roof structure and signature light towers will mirror the unique and historic architecture of the Triborough Bridge, which spans the length of the Park. The project architect is Hillier and the associate architect is Ricardo Zurita. The landscape architect is MPFP.
Carl Icahn is a native New Yorker who grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens and attended Far Rockaway High School. His mother was a teacher and his father was a cantor. Mr. Icahn is now one of the best-known figures in American business and finance. His investment firm, Icahn & Co. Inc. specializes in real estate development, oil and gas, railcar leasing and manufacturing, and technology firms. A noted philanthropist with an interest in educational issues and a special concern for abused and neglected children, Mr. Icahn established his Foundations to serve a diverse range of educational and charitable endeavors. He has established the Carl C. Icahn Laboratory for Princeton University's Institute for Integrated Genomics at Choate Rosemary Hall, in Wallingford, Connecticut. Mr. Icahn established the Icahn Scholars Program, as well as the Carl C. Icahn Science Center - Choate Science Center. The Children's Rescue Fund, also established by Mr. Icahn, sponsors Icahn House, a home for single mother's and their children. Mr. Icahn made substantial donations to Mt. Sinai Hospital and established the Carl C. Icahn Charter School in the Bronx.
"We are extremely grateful to the Carl Icahn Foundation for this extraordinarily generous gift," said RISF Chairman Richard Davis. "Mr. Icahn is a wonderful partner in preserving and enhancing Randall's Island Park's rich tradition of international track and field and competitive sports, and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers."
Randall's Island Sports Foundation (RISF) is a public/private partnership with the Department of Parks & Recreation, which assists in the management and operation of the 480-acre Randall's Island Park. RISF has helped significantly to attract private support to improve the flagship park and also develops sports and recreational facilities and sponsors community-linked programs for the children of New York City. Other contributors to the track and field stadium project include the Starr Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, David Howe, Al Gordon, Tori Dauphinot and Ken Hubbard, Bloomberg L.P., Bill Doty, and the Doty Family Foundation. Funding has also been allocated by Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, the City Council and the City of New York. The stadium is another example of the administration's commitment to raising private support for public projects.
Randall's Island Park is located off the Triborough Bridge in Manhattan and is easily accessible. For directions, transportation and general information, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks or www.risf.org.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Megan Sheekey (Parks)