Blaine, Minn. (May 16, 2017) – The National Sports Center (NSC) is pleased to announce that the National Sports Center Velodrome will kick off its racing season on Thursday, May 18 with the first installment of the Thursday Night Lights weekly racing series, which will run through September 14. Racing will begin at 7 p.m.
The Velodrome is one of the most unique facilities at the NSC campus, and dates back to the opening of the original NSC campus in 1990. The NSC Velodrome is the lone outdoor wood-plank velodrome in the Western Hemisphere. The track 250-meter track was designed by the world-famous velodrome design firm, Schurmann Architects of Berlin, Germany, and has hosted the 1992 Olympic Cycling Trials, several U.S. National Championships, international Grand Prix meets, a weekly race series, development classes and training sessions.
The NSC Velodrome will be the primary facility for racing and training this season and will host the Fixed Gear Classic, an elite level race, August 18-19. The Velodrome will also play host to the Minnesota State Match Sprint Championship on July 10, the State Championship Pursuit Time Trials and Team Sprints on August 11, and the 500m, 1 km Time Trials, and Team Pursuit State Championship races on August 25.
Through its 27 years of operation, the NSC Velodrome has required ongoing maintenance, both to its Afzelia wood surface and to the wood trusses that support the track surface. Over the years, most of the maintenance work has been performed by volunteer carpenters who have learned the craft of repairing the track.
The NSC benefitted from $100,000 in repairs in the spring of 2015 as a result of a partnership between the NSC and the Friends of Velodrome Racing in Minnesota (FOVRMN) aimed at extending the life expectancy of the NSC Velodrome. Volunteers resealed 150 meters of asphalt, rebuilt the winner’s podium, repainted the racing lines and replaced 50 strips of wood on the track. Both the NSC and the FOVRMN have agreed that the 2019 season will be the final season of racing at the Velodrome.
The NSC and FOVRMN hope that the remaining three-year window will allow the Minnesota Cycling Center time to generate funding to move forward with an indoor cycling facility at a different location in the Twin Cities, including plans that call for an indoor velodrome. Although plans for a new facility have been proposed, the NSC Velodrome will continue to serve as the home to Twin Cities cycling throughout the summer season.
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