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Bowling Alley Rolling into Grand Central Terminal

By Jill Colvin | August 1, 2011 6:49am | Updated on August 1, 2011 7:49am
A rendering of what Vanderbilt Hall will look like during the Teen Masters event.
A rendering of what Vanderbilt Hall will look like during the Teen Masters event.
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Norm Rainock

MIDTOWN — Trains won't be the only things rolling through Grand Central Terminal this week as the landmark building hosts its first-ever bowling championship.

Eight teenage bowlers are set to compete for $64,000 in college scholarship money at the 14th Annual Teen Masters’ Bowling Championship, which will transform the terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall into a bowling alley, complete with a full-length lane and stands for several hundred spectators.

Billed as the country’s premier high school bowling champion event, the competition will feature nine matches over the course of two days between some of the best young teen bowlers from across the nation.

“We’ve got great kids, there’s going to be a lot of excitement,” said Teen Masters founder Gary Beck, speaking by phone from Virginia where the league is based.

While the championships have been held in some grand locations, including Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., and the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas, he said Grand Central Terminal tops them all.

“It’s unlike anything they’ve ever faced before," he said. It is also the first year the top prize will be large enough to cover a full four years of college tuition, Beck added.

Those at Grand Central also hope that commuters will get a kick out of the spectacle.

“We love for people to walk through here and be like, ‘Wow’!” said Amy Scheer, Director of Marketing and Events at the station which has previously hosted tennis matches, squash tournaments and boxing showdowns.

Scheer said that part of her goal is to establish Grand Central not just as a departure point but as a neighborhood destination.

“They’ll be seeing the bowling alley in the place they least expect,” she said.

The 14th Annual Teen Masters’ Bowling Championship will start Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. and will end with a Grand Championship Match on Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.  Admission is free.