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It’s ladies first at Aviator Sports - Sharks have new home at Floyd Bennett

The 2007 Super Bowl may be history, but local gridiron fans can still see hard-hitting action in Brooklyn with the city’s hometown ladies team. The New York Sharks women’s tackle football team last week announced they’ve inked a deal with Aviator Sports and Recreation. The sports complex at Floyd Bennett Field can now also be called “Home of the New York Sharks.” “We hope to have a long-term home at Floyd Bennett Field,” said Sharks owner Andra Douglas. “We are very excited to be part of such a new and growing sports complex.” The Sharks, part of the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL), features 50 female football players from the tri-state area and is currently the winningest and longest operating women’s tackle football team in the country. In coming to Aviator, the team will certainly get a higher profile as the sports complex, at Floyd Bennett Field, which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, is increasingly becoming the go-to sports facility. Already, the complex includes two NHL regulation ice hockey rinks, a 16,000-square-foot gymnastics center, a 25,000-square-foot field house that will accommodate sports such as basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer, and an 8,000-square-foot sports bar and special events space. Also located in the sports complex is the Brooklyn Food Hall of Fame including such classic Brooklyn fare as cheesecakes from Junior’s, pizza by Patsy Grimaldi, ice cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and chocolates by Jacques Torres. The Sharks will be playing on a full-size football field, coming with ample seating along with free parking for over 5,000 cars. Just as important, the field finally gives Sharks’ players a place to hang their helmets and create a continuous home buzz, after moving around the city for their home games the last few years. Three years ago, the team played home games in Queens, two years ago in Staten Island and last season in Midwood Field. “Aviator Sports and Recreation is excited to have the New York Sharks using us as their home field in Brooklyn,” said Marcus Minifee, vice president of Aviator’s marketing and corporate partnerships. “We look forward to very exciting games for the community,” he added. Last season, the Sharks took the Mid-Atlantic Division with a perfect 8-0 record, led by defensive standout Amber Knighten along with quarterback Karen Mulligan, running back Yumi Warner and wide receiver Jen Blum. Then in the first round of the playoffs, the Sharks toppled the Miami Fury, 14-8, before a season-ending loss in the conference finals to the Atlanta Xplosion, 35-14. The Sharks kick off their 2007 season on the road at Miami on April 28 before coming back to the Aviator Sports Complex for their home opener May 5 against Washington. Kickoff time is slated for 4 p.m. For ticket information, go to the Sharks website at www.nysharksfootball.com. Those looking to learn more about the Aviator sports complex call (718) 758-9800. or visit www.aviatorsports.com/

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