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Velodrome in Rock Hill?

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As a newcomer to Greenville and the upstate, I have really enjoyed reading the posts on this forum. Because I have a track bike that has been sitting mostly unused for the last 5 years or so, this article caught my attention. I think a velodrome would be great for the area.

A Velodrome in Rock Hill's Future ? Sounds interesting.........

Cycling proposal has city's wheels turning

By Matt Garfield The Herald - Rock Hill

The next addition to Rock Hill's budding sports tourism landscape

could be something you've never heard of.

It's called a velodrome -- a bicycle racing track that national

cycling leaders think is a perfect fit for Rock Hill.

City Council members heard pitches Tuesday from the head of the USA

Cycling Association, the founders of a Carolinas cycling group and

an Olympic medalist, all of whom explained why an outdoor velodrome

would make sense here.

After the presentations, the council agreed to allow city staff to

spend the next six months studying how much the velodrome would

cost, where it could be built and, maybe most importantly, how much

cash it would generate.

Under a proposal made Tuesday, the city would be in charge of

construction and maintenance, with the Carolina Velodrome

Association managing programming and activities at the track.

Construction costs, which could approach $2.5 million, would be paid

for through public and private donations. City Manager Carey Smith

said a velodrome would fit well with Rock Hill's goal to become a

destination for recreational and sporting enthusiasts.

The city already hosts a variety of national softball, swimming and

tennis tournaments and is now building Manchester Meadows, a soccer

complex that will host league and tournament games. The events are

expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue.

Rock Hill makes sense for a velodrome because of its location --

close to big cities such as Charlotte and Atlanta, as well as

Interstates 77 and 85, said Pat McDonough, who won a silver medal in

cycling in the 1984 Summer Olympics and now is director of programs

for USA Cycling.

"The Southeast is kind of an untapped market for us," he said. "We

need it to be accessible enough to some regional centers. You're

right in the corridor here."

It also makes sense because there are no other velodromes in the

Southeast, said Gerard Bisceglia, CEO of USA Cycling.

"Track cycling is on the rise in the United States," he said. "You

have a tremendous population base that is underserved by this sport."

Michael Cowan, co-founder of the Carolina Velodrome Association,

says the track shouldn't be located in a big city, but instead a

town small enough to support it through grass-roots efforts.

"It gets lost in a big city," he said.

Finally, Rock Hill's proximity to rural, two-lane roads adds another

favorable element to the mix, McDonough said.

"It's beautiful out there," said McDonough, who toured roads near

McConnells that run past pastures and wooded areas Tuesday

afternoon. "It'd be great for cycling. "It's a large enough

community, but it's not overwhelming, either."

Council members said the idea sounds good, but they need more

information. Council member Kevin Sutton said his support of the

project could depend largely on how much it costs. "I'm not

skeptical of the project," said Sutton, who added he didn't want the

city to spend too much money studying the idea.

Smith said the cost of the study would be minimal.

Spencer Lueders of the Carolina Velodrome Association said the

investment would pay off. "I think you're going to see a resurgence

in track cycling," he said. "To me, it's a 'you build it, they will

come' thing."

Matt Garfield

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I think this will be an interesting project. I think it woul dbe cool to test out a velodrome as I have never been in one before.

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This is an old thread, but it sounds like the possibilty of a velodrome in Rock Hill is a lot closer to reality. Read the latest news here on the Carolina Velodrome Association's website:

http://www.carolinavelodrome.org/1073.html

I think this would be a great thing for the area; the premier velodrome in the Southeast.

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