"First Indoor Velodrome for East Coast will draw international competition and other Events"
And, the people who build and operate 25 Million dollar
The Island 200 in Pittsburg opens for business soon.
“Island 200 Velodrome – a fast track bike racing stadium – is scheduled to open its doors to the Pittsburgh public in early 2014. Located on the formerly industrial Neville Island, just outside Pittsburgh, Island 200 will soon be set on an international stage as one of only two indoor velodromes in the United States.
The stadium will serve as a multi-purpose facility featuring sporting events, concerts, corporate tradeshows and more. Island 200 needed end-to-end marketing solutions for their emerging brand, to generate awareness and excitement before their 2014 debut.”
“In the early 20th century, if residents of America’s burgeoning cities didn’t feel like going dancing or to the theater, they had another option for live entertainment: bike racing. Now, thanks to some ambitious bike activists, the pastime has returned to some of the nation’s roughest neighborhoods via crowdfunded, volunteer-built velodromes…
But although track racing has remained popular in Europe — it’s been an Olympic sport since 1896 — stateside, velodromes went the way of the icebox after World War II. Recently, however, these tracks have begun to reappear. A 166-meter velodrome opened in Chicago in 2011. That was joined, in August 2012, by a similar one in Cleveland. Yet another velodrome will soon go up in Pittsburgh.
And here’s the kicker (or kickstand, if you prefer): These velodromes occupy previously vacant land in struggling parts of town. Think $3,000 bikes zipping through neighborhoods of $3,000 houses.
Why would anyone build an elite, European-style athletic facility in the rustiest precincts of the Rust Belt? The answer comes from the convergence of two renaissance movements — one aimed at reinvigorating cycling, the other America’s inner cities.
The architect of these tracks — literally — is Dale Hughes of Rochester Hills, Mich., a lifelong cyclist and designer of world-class velodromes via his company V-Worldwide. The Chicago, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh tracks are his designs.
“The reality is that cycling is small sport,” Hughes explains. “We cyclists have to win over one rider at a time.” Better to do that in the city than the ’burbs, he says. “It’s harder to get kids to bike in the suburbs because they are booked 24/7 all summer long.” So why not bring a little bit of Europe to the ’hood?
High-end European-style bike tracks — the next big thing in the hood?
By Christopher Weber