The recession has claimed another casualty: Frolicking bikini-clad athletes in Coney Island.
A professional volleyball league that has made the Boardwalk home for the past four years will skip Coney Island this year — all because of the downturn in the economy.
“It’s no one’s fault,” Matt Dodd, commissioner of the American Volleyball Professionals 2010 tour. “It’s just the world and economy that we’re trying to deal with now.”
Last year, the AVP held tournaments in 16 cities around the U.S. This year, that number has been trimmed to 12 — and half are in California.
The decision to skip Coney Island has left Brooklyn’s biggest cheerleader feeling like someone has just kicked sand in his face.
“I am disappointed that AVP won’t be returning this year after several successful summers in Brooklyn,” said Borough President Markowitz.
The AVP debuted in Coney Island in 2006 and gave Brooklynites an opportunity to see Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in action (and in bikinis).
Community Board 13 Chairman Chuck Reichenthal never missed a tournament.
“We’re going to miss it,” he said. “It was a lot of fun to watch the players – especially the women.”
Dodd said that he would love to return to the “People’s Playground” one day, but pointed out that AVP will need more sponsors to make that happen.