Harris, Blitzer in Group Replacing Trump for NYC Skating Rink
(Bloomberg) -- New York’s Wollman Rink, which for decades was run by the Trump Organization, will now be overseen by a joint venture that includes the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball and New Jersey Devils hockey teams.
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the sports teams, was chosen along with Related Companies and Equinox as the group to run the ice skating rink in Central Park, the Parks Department said Tuesday in a statement.
In January, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he planned to cancel contracts worth more than $17 million with Donald Trump’s company in the fallout from the Capitol riot. In addition to Wollman, the city also had agreements with his firm to run a carousel and another skating rink, both in Central Park, as well as a Bronx golf course.
The former president received $4.5 million in income from the ice skating rinks and $6.4 million from the Ferry Point golf course in 2020 and the first 20 days of 2021, according to his final financial disclosure.
The city’s statement announcing the new deal for Wollman made no mention of Trump or his company.
“We are excited to work with the Parks Department and are honored to partner with some of the city’s leading community organizations to make this vision a reality,” Josh Harris and David Blitzer, co-founders of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, said in a separate statement. Harris is also a co-founder of Apollo Global Management Inc., while Blitzer is a senior managing director at Blackstone Group Inc.
A spokesman for the Trump Organization didn’t respond to an email requesting comment. In January, when de Blasio said he planned to cancel the contracts, a spokesperson for the firm called the move politically motivated and said it would fight to retain the agreement.
The Trump Organization sued the city last month over the termination of the golf contract, saying in its complaint that it had fully complied with its obligations to operate the course as a “first class, tournament-quality, daily-fee golf course.” Ferry Point is a links-style, Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the Bronx that opened in 2015.
The new joint venture was chosen through a competitive request for proposals process and the contract is for five years, the city said in its statement Tuesday. The venture will run the rink not-for-profit. A replacement for the other ice skating rink and carousel in Central Park hasn’t been named.
The Trump Organization and one of its top executives, Allen Weisselberg, were charged with tax crimes in New York last week. Both pleaded not guilty.
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