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Tulsa Voters Clear Path for USA BMX Epicenter

April 6, 2016 by  

Footprint of the USA BMX Epicenter Facility

BMX News has reported on the progress of the USA BMX “Epicenter” Project for the past two years. It was our Number 3 story of 2014, in fact, garnering huge interest among BMXers from around the world. The vision was/is to bring USA BMX Headquarters, a covered or fully-enclosed, worlds-caliber dual-hill track, the National BMX Hall Of Fame Museum, training facilities and possibly dorm facilities for visiting riders, into one master development. The price tag for the facility was previously pegged at $20 million.

An earlier proposal to bring the facility to Gilbert, AZ— the current home of USA BMX— was derailed by a public hearing process that pitted neighbor against neighbor. Ultimately, city leaders sidelined the project. But while Gilbert is USA BMX home base, and has been for decades, the organization does not have a very high profile there. Tulsa is a much different story.

Word started circulating last August that the Epicenter proposal was making its way through the Tulsa City Council. BMX News reported this on August 15, 2015 (link below).

BMX Racing has a fairly high profile in Tulsa, and brings millions of dollars in economic impact to town twice each year. As we reported in our story last August, Tulsa is an incredibly BMX-friendly and forward-thinking city, so it makes perfect sense that City Councilors looked favorably on the proposal, and slotted it in to the overall “Vision 2025″ plan.

Vision 2025 is a three-pronged, $884 million initiative to cover public safety, transportation infrastructure and economic development. The third initiative was the largest of the three-at $510MM, and where the $15 Million for the USA BMX facility was situated.

All three propositions passed with overwhelming voter approval, thus paving the way to begin the planning process of the facility, with a potential move-in date of 2019.

The site of the facility will be on the Tulsa County Fairgrounds, where the Grand National and Sooner Nationals are held each year. The footprint of the massive indoor arena will be the where “Athletics Stadium” currently sits (opened in 1981, formerly known as “Drillers Stadium,” after the Tulsa Drillers baseball team that played there until 2009, when they got a new $40 Million facility a mile or so away).

The USA BMX Offices, Hall of Fame Museum and training facilities will be housed in an adjacent 60,000 square foot building once occupied by the Tulsa Health Department. The building will be fully gutted and rehabbed from the ground-up to accommodate its new use. Together, the parcel shows the outline of the state of Oklahoma, itself (as shown in the top photo).

Headquarters, Hall of Fame and Training Building

Athletics Stadium, Site of New Indoor Arena
USA BMX Epicenter complex footprint

BMX News sat down with USA BMX COO John David on Wednesday, to bring you more on the facility, and what happens now that the voters have spoken.

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We have included a PDF containing all the line items in the Vision 2025 proposition, in case you’re interested in seeing the full-breadth of this program, and how far it reaches to improve life in the City of Tulsa (link below).

This whole three-year run-up proves an important lesson in sports and in business: dream big, set your sights on the prize and run at it! You will experience setbacks, naysayers and other adversity along the way, but if you stay focused on the goal and don’t quit, you will eventually prevail.

Big congratulations and thanks to BA Anderson, John David and the rest of the USA BMX crew for exhibiting these values when it comes to the development of our sport.

—Mike Carruth


Links

PDF: Full Tulsa Vision 2025 Budget Allocation

August 12, 2015: USA BMX “Epicenter” May Land in Tulsa

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