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February 9th, 2021
Andrew Yang Backs Calls for Plan to Reopen Coney Island Amusement Park
**RELEASE** February 9th, 2021
New York, NY—Today, Andrew Yang, Democratic Candidate for Mayor of New York City, joined Brooklyn Council Member Mark Treyger and local business leaders in calling on the State to issue guidance that would allow Coney Island Amusement park to reopen in time for the summer season.
Coney Island has remained closed since the start of the pandemic as other indoor entertainment venues such as bowling alleys and movie theaters were allowed to reopen last summer, causing an estimated $100 million loss in revenue in addition to the loss of 2,000 seasonal jobs last year alone.
“When I think of summertime in New York City, the first image that comes to mind is the Wonder Wheel standing tall over the Coney Island boardwalk,” said Andrew Yang. “But the People’s Playground is not just an iconic landmark, it’s a vital economic engine that draws 5 million annual visitors from around the world annually, keeping businesses in the area thriving for the 30,000 Brooklyn residents of the surrounding neighborhood that call the area home.”
“New York State still hasn’t drafted a single sentence of reopening guidance for outdoor Coney Island amusements this year, which were closed the entire season for the first time in history last year and are experiencing dire financial hardships,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “We must center the outer-borough economy.”
The Coney Island neighborhood is also home to the New York Aquarium, which was reopened July 2020 with strict COVID-19 protocols, MCU Park, home to the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Ford Amphitheater, and the YMCA. The neighborhood also hosts the Mermaid Parade, the nation's largest art parade, and the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest held on the 4th of July.
Continued Yang, “With events such as the 2021 New York Road Runners Brooklyn Half-Marathon already canceled, the neighborhood cannot afford another empty season. Coney Island is facing its worst economic crisis since the area was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and needs to reopen sooner rather than later if the neighborhood is to survive these challenging times. Vendors and small businesses in Coney Island need leadership; they need guidelines to give them enough time to properly prepare for the new season. We must now work together to give these businesses a fighting chance to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.”