Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and professional skateboarders attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at Flushing Meadows Corona Park's new skate park.
The park was opened as part of the "Adopt-a-Park" program, where small businesses, community groups and individuals provide funds to refurbish city parks.
The $1.1 million for the park, which is located at the old Astral Fountain from the World's Fair, came from the Maloof Brothers, who own the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.
"We decided let's take advantage of it, build a beautiful park for the kids, and donate it to the kids,” said Joe Maloof of Maloof Companies.
"We brought them around, showed them some locations, and they just fell in love with this spot at the fountain at the site of the state pavilion and the unisphere,” said Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “It's a beautiful spot in Flushing Meadow."
Skaters are giving the park rave reviews.
"It's giving the community everything that we wanted, you know? We always needed something in Queens,” said one skater. “Normally Queens got overlooked in that sense, as far as skateboarding is concerned, so this is definitely providing like the best thing possible not just for Queens, but for the whole New York skateboarding community."
Portions of the park are modeled after well-known skating spots around the city, including the stairs by the Brooklyn bank and Union Square Park."
"I'm going to be here every day, every possible day off that I can have just to skate here,” said another. “Once again, like there's no reason for you to be heading out to New York City now, because New York City came to Queens."
There are 13 skate parks in the city for the estimated one-million skaters. Two other parks are under construction.
The new Queens skate park will be broken in by 48 pro-skateboarders this weekend. They are participating in the Maloof Money Cup Skateboading Competition.