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I laughed then I cried - A velodrome for the Olympics in the US??? BSNYC

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I laughed then I cried - A velodrome for the Olympics in the US??? BSNYC

Old 07-07-15, 01:55 PM
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chas58
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I laughed then I cried - A velodrome for the Olympics in the US??? BSNYC

Sad but true commentary of the lack of interest in a velodrome for the 2024 Boston Olympics. I laughed and then I cried. BSNYC gives his take on the struggle to get a velodrome for Olympics in the USA:




… despite their funny accents, people in the Boston area are just like everybody else in that they don't give a sh*t about velodromes:

Local officials across the state have fought to host Olympic basketball, volleyball, and sailing. But as Boston 2024 officials have roamed the state putting together their new plan, there is one venue that no one seems to be vying for: the velodrome, a physically huge and enormously expensive indoor bicycling track that hosts one of America’s least popular Olympic sports.

In an Olympic landscape stalked by white elephants, the velodrome just might be the lead pachyderm, skewered by critics as the ultimate symbol of the waste and excess required to host the Games.
Goddamn right! Remember back in like 2007 when fixies were big and the people we used to call "hipsters" were all whining about how they needed to have velodromes so they could ride their track bikes and show off their knuckle tattoos? Well, it's a good thing nobody listened to them, because if they had the entire country would now be littered with the shells of unused velodromes, desolate and lying in wait for some natural disaster when they could finally see use as emergency shelters.

I mean come on, we're talking about track racing here! You'd have better luck getting people behind indoor fly fishing arenas. Even USA Cycling is like, "Track racing? Who cares?"
But even velodrome believers admit getting Americans excited about the sport is not easy.

Watching muscular racers on fixed-gear bicycles with no brakes hurtling around steeply banked tracks is popular in Europe. But in the United States, “it’s sort of a marginalized discipline,” said Andy Sparks, director of track programs at USA Cycling. “You say, ‘track cycling,’ and people are not familiar with the concept.”
Way to stand behind one of your core disciplines, USA Cycling.

Of course, one of the problems here is that nobody even knows what the hell a velodrome is…


Read more at
Bike Snob NYC: Sorry I'm Late, My Apple Watch Was Set To Venusian Time
(scroll down a bit to get to the velodrome section)

Of course when Mr. Sparks says people are not familiar with the track racing, he really should say USA Cycling is not familiar with track cycling - trying to get them to do anything supportive or even understand track cycling is like moving in quicksand.
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Old 07-07-15, 03:39 PM
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Sigh. We were just having a conversation yesterday about all the lovely velodromes Mexico has. And apparently they just built another new one. Why is this a priority in Mexico and not the US? Which country has a richer history of success at the Olympics and WCs'? I know it was just your birthday and everything, America, but eat a **** sandwich.
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Old 07-07-15, 03:55 PM
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Im sure even in the popular track countries there is resistance, although Im sure less, to new tracks. When we built ours there was of course lots of push back, and if it wasn't for a few key (rich and important) people behind it, we would have put up a temporary track for PanAm.

Its funny they don't see the irony. The sport isn't big enough to have a track, because there are no tracks...


I also can't believe that a velodrome is breaking the budget for hosting, don't the games cost billions anyway? What is $30m for a track...
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Old 07-07-15, 04:00 PM
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Didn't your government dismantle and pack up a nice track one night without telling anyone they were going to re-purpose the land???


Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
Im sure even in the popular track countries there is resistance, although Im sure less, to new tracks. When we built ours there was of course lots of push back, and if it wasn't for a few key (rich and important) people behind it, we would have put up a temporary track for PanAm.
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Old 07-07-15, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Didn't your government dismantle and pack up a nice track one night without telling anyone they were going to re-purpose the land???
Sounds about right. Although I could probably get funding to open a hockey arena tomorrow lol
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Old 07-07-15, 11:22 PM
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The host city for the 2024 Olympic Games will not be selected until September 2017 so there is plenty of time to determine how to support the track cycling events.

If Boston can duplicate the financial success of the 1984 Los Angeles games, with a surplus of over $200 million, then a nice velodrome could easily be affordable. (Some of this money went into upgrading the Encino velodrome and into training programs for young cyclists.)

However Boston needs to do some creative thinking on a velodrome. Why build an expensive palace (e.g. London Olympic velodrome) when a much simpler one could be built using a commercial type structure and a plywood surface track.

Also why not apply for a location exemption and use either the LA track (6-hour flight) or the Toronto track (2-hour flight). The world soccer cups do not worry about distance.

Last edited by 700wheel; 07-08-15 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 07-08-15, 12:11 AM
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It is beyond me why any sporting event should cost $50 Billion.

There are 28 velodromes in the USA, I think.
List of cycling tracks and velodromes, USA - Wikipedia

Pick one and upgrade.
Perhaps the Kissena Park Velodrome in NYC.
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Old 07-08-15, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 700wheel View Post

However Boston needs to do some creative thinking on a velodrome. Why build an expensive palace (e.g. London velodrome) when a much simpler one could be built using a commercial type structure and a plywood surface track.
When talking about North America, London refers to FCV is a tiny 138-meter track squeezed into an old unused hockey arena in London ONT. The track is owned by individuals, and is operated by a not for profit.

Like most grass roots effort, its not exactly palace like. It takes a lot of volunteer effort and community involvement to keep something like that going.

But if you are talking palaces, you must be speaking of England...
LOL
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Old 07-08-15, 01:00 PM
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Apparently there are some "Red Bull "mini-dromes"" around, including some figure 8 tracks squeezed into small spaces.



I could imagine adding some creativity to the track venue.

Instead of building large one-time-use stadiums, they need to plan to use their existing resources. Perhaps it would be hard to maximize spectator access in small areas, but there have to be quite a few college, and even HS football/track stadiums within a few hundred miles of Boston that could host a temporary quarter mile open air velodrome.

Or, rather than doing a "Boston Olympics", do a country wide Olympics event, perhaps doing bicycling in one state, and running in another state, and kayaking in a third state.
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Old 07-08-15, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 700wheel View Post
The host city for the 2024 Olympic Games will not be selected until September 2017 so there is plenty of time to determine how to support the track cycling events.

If Boston can duplicate the financial success of the 1984 Los Angeles games, with a surplus of over $200 million, then a nice velodrome could easily be affordable. (Some of this money went into upgrading the Encino velodrome and into training programs for young cyclists.)

However Boston needs to do some creative thinking on a velodrome. Why build an expensive palace (e.g. London velodrome) when a much simpler one could be built using a commercial type structure and a plywood surface track.

Also why not apply for a location exemption and use either the LA track (6-hour flight) or the Toronto track (2-hour flight). The world soccer cups do not worry about distance.
Plenty of time?

Remember this is Boston, and how long the Big Dig took?
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Old 07-08-15, 02:18 PM
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I wonder if the finances for an indoor Velodrome would look better if you put together two or three marginal Olympic sports in the same building, say track cycling, handball, and badminton. Maybe have some multi use space in the track infield, ideally a set up where you can turn the infield into a small concert venue, or trade show, or hs commencement.

I think the increase in fixed costs for each support would be a lot smaller than seperate venues, you could share locker rooms, parking, air handling etc with, presumably, much much less than three times the excess capacity. Probably a scheduling problem for Olympics, but if you could work it out it might make the finances look a lot better.
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Old 07-08-15, 02:29 PM
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Another option might be to design a velodrome stadium with the idea that the sloped track could be replaced with bleachers on either a temporary or permanent basis for future use. So a velodrome for the Olympics, but a multipurpose stadium for future use... track, soccer, basketball, etc.

Make it so the transition was quick enough, and the stadium could be repurposed even during the Olympics.
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Old 07-08-15, 02:50 PM
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Or, just let them race around a decent sized traffic circle. Or even better, build a covered cloverleaf interchange for them on some Boston highway. At least that would be useful for something after the Olympic event.
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Old 07-14-15, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Another option might be to design a velodrome stadium with the idea that the sloped track could be replaced with bleachers on either a temporary or permanent basis for future use. So a velodrome for the Olympics, but a multipurpose stadium for future use... track, soccer, basketball, etc.
That is exactly how one of our cities two indoor velodromes (yes Melbourne has two ) is built.

The Hisense arena is a multiuse venue with retractable stands at either end so the stadium is used for other events.

Cycling - note the structure over each end



Other



Biggest issue with such a design is the cost to use the venue, so is rarely used for cycling.
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Old 07-14-15, 06:17 AM
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I like that Melbourne stadium.

Yes... it might be nice to have more dedicated cycling stadiums... but how often will they really get used?

One of the problems with special purpose Olympic stadiums is that they are often extremely expensive, then later poorly utilized after the Olympics, and even fall into disrepair.
12 Forgotten Olympic Venues Fallen Into Disrepair

Perhaps the Montreal Velodrome has faired better than others.... now some kind of indoor zoo.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Biodome
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Old 07-14-15, 07:23 AM
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Our second indoor velodrome DISC is used daily. State squad training, NTID squad training, club training plus racing Tuesday and Thursday nights.

To give you an idea on the usage - a weekly availability calendar is posted - http://vic.cycling.org.au/Portals/17...13_2015_v2.pdf



It does also contain an indoor bowling green, but the building gets used mostly for cycling.
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Old 07-14-15, 09:42 PM
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One of the bigger issues of a velodrome in the Greater Boston area isn't so much expense, it's land. I've lived in the 'burbs of Boston all of my life, and when I raced at the track in New Hampshire, the race director at the time was devoting so much energy not just into cultivating the track community, but in trying to build investor interest into a proper 250m indoor track somewhere in the area. It was sort of a double-edged sword; build within Boston, and land because hard to come by and expensive. Move further out, and access/interest from the verdant cycling community in the city drops (seriously, the NH track was an hour's drive from the city, yet we had great trouble pulling people away from their beloved road, cross, and mountain bikes).

It's frustrating knowing that the Cleveland Velodrome was built in a city that isn't necessarily known for it's cycling community, but the city donated the land, and the facility itself was funded almost entirely by donations. Here in Boston, our cycling community is massive. I think it's a shame we don't have an east coast version of LA already.

I could go on for pages, but even though I have enough enthusiasm for the sport to drive to Kissena every week, T-Town every month, and FCV every year, I get the feeling that this and countless other reasons will keep Boston from getting the Olympics and prevent my hometown from getting the track it deserves. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the Olympics some day, but the lack of support and mild cynicism Boston's famous for is keeping it from being a reality in my lifetime.
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Old 07-15-15, 06:42 AM
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Bummer about Boston.

Cleveland is an inspiration of a solid grass roots campaign.

Shoot, even Detroit is planning on an indoor velodrome (not 250m), but land here is a little cheaper than Boston I believe. Things like that help make Detroit an exciting place to be. Pop up velodromes, breweries, coffee houses, art houses, amazing bike culture, Slow roll, etc.
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Old 07-15-15, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I like that Melbourne stadium.

Yes... it might be nice to have more dedicated cycling stadiums... but how often will they really get used?

One of the problems with special purpose Olympic stadiums is that they are often extremely expensive, then later poorly utilized after the Olympics, and even fall into disrepair.
12 Forgotten Olympic Venues Fallen Into Disrepair

Perhaps the Montreal Velodrome has faired better than others.... now some kind of indoor zoo.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Biodome
How often do they get used is a problem for any major sporting event.

Brazil got the FIFA world cup... Traced to build tons of stadiums, and guess what after crippling the country's budget to do it.... All those stadiums stand empty and unused. Wasted land and infrastructure and gobs of money in a country with huge poverty problems.

Such is the norm for Olympic or FIFA venues that are built for their respective works games
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Old 07-15-15, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Bummer about Boston.

Cleveland is an inspiration of a solid grass roots campaign.

Shoot, even Detroit is planning on an indoor velodrome (not 250m), but land here is a little cheaper than Boston I believe. Things like that help make Detroit an exciting place to be. Pop up velodromes, breweries, coffee houses, art houses, amazing bike culture, Slow roll, etc.
Perhaps Detroit should put in an Olympic bid. Convert one of the old abandoned car plants to an Olympic Venue. It might help give a major boost to the city/region. But, longevity is always an issue. Will the Olympic facilities be used in the future?

Originally Posted by TrackMonkey7 View Post
One of the bigger issues of a velodrome in the Greater Boston area isn't so much expense, it's land. I've lived in the 'burbs of Boston all of my life, and when I raced at the track in New Hampshire, the race director at the time was devoting so much energy not just into cultivating the track community, but in trying to build investor interest into a proper 250m indoor track somewhere in the area. It was sort of a double-edged sword; build within Boston, and land because hard to come by and expensive. Move further out, and access/interest from the verdant cycling community in the city drops (seriously, the NH track was an hour's drive from the city, yet we had great trouble pulling people away from their beloved road, cross, and mountain bikes).
Whenever Dubai needs more land, they just build a new island from scratch. Perhaps that would work in Boston. Is there room near the harbor? Filling in the harbor... who needs boats anyway?

I have also read discussions from a couple of cities wanting to build over the top of some of their freeways... that could create new centrally located land.

But, I would imagine that if an Olympic Village/Park/Stadium is built in Boston, then it will be on the outskirts of the city.

It all just sounds like very expensive one-time-use facilities.

I suppose security is an issue, but I'd much prefer to see a distributed venue covering the region, rather than all centralized in a single Olympic Park. Perhaps have a primary host city, but share the wealth across an entire region.
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Old 07-15-15, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Perhaps Detroit should put in an Olympic bid. Convert one of the old abandoned car plants to an Olympic Venue. It might help give a major boost to the city/region. But, longevity is always an issue. Will the Olympic facilities be used in the future?



Whenever Dubai needs more land, they just build a new island from scratch. Perhaps that would work in Boston. Is there room near the harbor? Filling in the harbor... who needs boats anyway?

I have also read discussions from a couple of cities wanting to build over the top of some of their freeways... that could create new centrally located land.

But, I would imagine that if an Olympic Village/Park/Stadium is built in Boston, then it will be on the outskirts of the city.

It all just sounds like very expensive one-time-use facilities.

I suppose security is an issue, but I'd much prefer to see a distributed venue covering the region, rather than all centralized in a single Olympic Park. Perhaps have a primary host city, but share the wealth across an entire region.
Haha, that's what Bostonians did in the first place! Most of the city should be under water. Maybe the velodrome could be on a giant barge? Interestingly, we do have a few buildings that were constructed over highways.

I can assure you that the velodrome would not be one-use. Our cycling community is far too strong for that even if everyone is presently still obsessed with 'cross and MTB.
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Old 07-15-15, 04:55 PM
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How much does it cost to maintain a velodrome? Indoor velodrome? Wood Track?

I stopped at Alpenrose mid-week a while ago... it looked pretty idle, and could use resurfacing, although the next time I'm in the area, I might try a Thursday or Friday evening. I tried a few laps, but just couldn't handle the 43° banking.

Anyway, I have no doubt the velodrome would get some use... but enough to maintain the building? Regularly fill the stands with paying customers?

A track on a barge would be wicked... (definite home team advantage during storms) but one could do it on pylons.
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Old 07-15-15, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
How much does it cost to maintain a velodrome? Indoor velodrome? Wood Track?

I stopped at Alpenrose mid-week a while ago... it looked pretty idle, and could use resurfacing, although the next time I'm in the area, I might try a Thursday or Friday evening. I tried a few laps, but just couldn't handle the 43° banking.

Anyway, I have no doubt the velodrome would get some use... but enough to maintain the building? Regularly fill the stands with paying customers?

A track on a barge would be wicked... (definite home team advantage during storms) but one could do it on pylons.
From my perspective, there's plenty of potential for income from use. T-Town manages to have good crowds for bigger events, and it's around an hour away from Philly. A track in/near Boston would be able to draw from our large cycling community and our fanatic sports community. I also happen to think that Bostonians would be curious enough to watch track racing, even if they don't ride bikes for competition or care much about sports. Were a world-class facility built, I think the first few UCI events would sell out.
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Old 07-15-15, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TrackMonkey7 View Post
From my perspective, there's plenty of potential for income from use. T-Town manages to have good crowds for bigger events, and it's around an hour away from Philly. A track in/near Boston would be able to draw from our large cycling community and our fanatic sports community. I also happen to think that Bostonians would be curious enough to watch track racing, even if they don't ride bikes for competition or care much about sports. Were a world-class facility built, I think the first few UCI events would sell out.
I've had a good look inside the finances of a few velodromes and I won't mince words: they hemorrhage funds. Or, rather, they require an influx of money. I would be very surprised if any track in this country were balancing their budget based on racers and audience.

The biggest expense is, of course, what's required to run high-quality programming and generate any ROI for advertisers and sponsors: staff. Staff are vital to a healthy facility. And salaries, health insurance, and benefits are expensive.

Some of the successful tracks in this country get by based on, well, no expectations that they'll run on a balanced budget. T-Town is owned by Rodale, right? And a lot of velodromes are on public lands, maintained out of the budget of Parks Departments and run by volunteers (who also fundraise for repair money).

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Old 07-15-15, 06:16 PM
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The first few events might be a sell out. Maybe if there was a local rider who had a good chance to break the hour record.

But would they maintain the crowds for weekly races? Maintain groupie followers?

The big national and international level events will likely generate crowds... but there are only so many of those.

Actually... the little town of Eugene regularly gets the Olympic track and field tryouts...
Perhaps we need a velodrome

Somehow I thought there was a wooden one around here somewhere... but I just can't find any info on it, although I did find notes on wanting to build one for $40,000 a few years ago. Maybe just too expensive

https://news.google.com/newspapers?n...,4456531&hl=en
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