Best indoors sports venue - 2006
Schwartz Athletic Center
The year after the famed Brooklyn Paramount theater, whose stage had been trodden by the likes of Mae West and Eddie Cantor, shuttered its doors after 34 years, in 1962, the building was reborn as Long Island University's Schwartz Athletic Center, with the ornate proscenium and ceiling still intact and implausibly suspended above the basketball court. The Paramount's 1920s Wurlitzer pipe organ remains as well—for years, the late Yankee organist Eddie Layton would play at LIU games, just because he liked the instrument so much. LIU's teams fled for more modern digs last year, but sports fans can still glimpse the glory years of Brooklyn theater at such events as the Brooklyn Kings of the minor-league United States Basketball League, or the Gotham Girls Roller Derby, which started play there this season after getting booted from their longtime Bronx digs. One tip: You might want to dress like a roller girl (or hoops player) as well, as LIU never bothered to install air-conditioning.