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  1. #1
    ambassador of good will *new*guy's Avatar
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    press release about new indoor 'drome near philly

    NEW INDOOR VELODROME TO BE BUILT NEAR PHILADELPHIA
    First Indoor Cycling Track for East Coast and Second in USA Gets Local Support


    EAGLEVILLE, PA November 2, 2006: Lower Providence Township Manager, Joseph C. Dunbar, along with investors and project developers, announced today that the first indoor velodrome and events center on the East Coast will be located on a 14 acre site not far from Valley Forge National Park just outside of Philadelphia.



    The 2,500 seat arena and world class velodrome will be capable of hosting high level national and international competition and will provide a much needed year round facility for training and development of American cyclists. Although the velodrome and comprehensive cycling program will anchor the facility, the building will be designed for multi-use including expanded seating capacity to over 4,000 for concerts, other sporting events and community activities. Initial plans also call for connecting the velodrome, via bike path, to the widely used Schuylkill River and Perkiomen bicycle trails.



    “Cycling is a great lifetime sport that promotes health, fitness and family recreation,” Dunbar said. “The Velodrome and related facilities will be the perfect recreational and entertainment addition to our area and will ensure that Lower Providence Township is in the forefront of bringing unique and exciting events to our township and the surrounding Delaware Valley.”



    Dunbar indicated that a private investment partnership, American Management Group, LLC, is providing financial backing for the project and has entered into an Agreement of Sale to purchase a former semi-conductor plant that has been vacant on the 14-acre site for nearly a decade. The existing building will be demolished to make room for the 130,000 square foot arena and a 150-room hotel on the property. It is estimated that the velodrome will be completed within 18 months, ideally by early 2008 for Olympic preparation. Several architects are being considered for the project.



    Dr. Bhaskar Savani, a principal in American Management Group indicated that the velodrome will be developed and operated by Velodrome Management Group LLC (VMG) of Norristown, the group that has been working to create an indoor velodrome in the Delaware Valley for over five years.



    “My partners and I were interested in expanding our real estate and hotel business to include a sports facility,” said Dr. Savani. “We think cycling is a great sport and the idea of providing a year round venue for training and competition is very exciting, particularly since cycling is so popular in the area. When Velodrome Management Group approached us for backing with a solid plan, it was an easy decision.”



    VMG principals include David Chauner and Jerry Casale, organizers of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown and Philadelphia International Cycling Championship. They also founded the Pro Cycling Tour and have been instrumental in growing and developing cycling in the United States for over three decades.



    “We believe that indoor cycling has a huge future in the United States”, said VMG’s director, David Chauner, a two time Olympic cyclist and member of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. “It’s fast, colorful and exciting and is undergoing a surge in popularity around the world. Plus with over a dozen track cycling events for men and women in international and Olympic competition, there is a tremendous opportunity to develop American talent at this facility.”



    Chauner says that, in addition to high-level competition, introducing area youth to cycling in all its disciplines will be a key objective of velodrome usage and points to the successful Air Products Development Program he and former partner Jack Simes created at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome. Since its inception in 1977, the program has introduced cycling to 14,000 youngsters and, over the years, has produced 16 Olympic team members including 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, Marty Nothstein.



    Simes and his company, Veloplex Arenas, will be engaged to help plan and construct the facility, anticipated to feature a 250 meter board track designed and built by Peter Junek of Canada. Simes, a three-time Olympian and Olympic Team coach, will also work closely with VMG to create an innovative racing format with unique spectator appeal. Chauner and Simes also played key roles in developing Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Velodrome near Allentown, recognized as the most successful outdoor velodrome in the United States. Both are members of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.



    “In the mid-seventies, we proved that velodrome racing could be presented as entertainment as well as compelling athletic competition,” said Chauner, who related how he and Simes, then Olympic team coach, attracted international athletes and thousands of paying spectators to watch bicycle racing when the sport was virtually unknown. “In those days, there was no Greg LeMond, no Lance Armstrong and bicycle racing wasn’t on anyone’s radar screen.”



    While cycling will provide the anchor program for the arena, it is the potential for additional events that excites Paul Decker, president of the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our research indicates that there is a universe of some 35,000 events that could potentially be held in the Center. Attracting some of these is a major goal for us, particularly when you consider that attendees spend money in the area and will make a significant contribution to our local economy,” Decker said.



    Developers expect the velodrome and adjacent hotel to create nearly 100 new full and part time jobs and that $25 to $35 million will be pumped into the local economy by some 50,000 out of town visitors each year.



    According to Dunbar, “We see this as a huge win for Lower Providence Township and the greater Philadelphia area.”



    ###

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    50,000 out of town visitors each year, huh? okay. The northeast definitely needs an all weather track but i don't like the proximity to T-Town. They're going to cannibalize each other during the season unless one commits to Friday racing and the other Saturday for top level events.

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    Exciting news!

    You've got to wonder about T-Town, though. Those folks can't be too happy. This new track will be closer to Philly, DC, Baltimore, NYC... and it's indoors, so weather won't cancel events.

    The estimated number of out-of-town visitors per year probably includes music concerts, which I understand the venue will also host.

    This track will be about a half an hour from my in-laws' house. I think we'll be visiting a lot more often...

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    Just the opposite-T-Town loves and fully endorses the new drome!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackman2
    Just the opposite-T-Town loves and fully endorses the new drome!
    Not exactly...

    The new site is less than 100 km from the highly successful Lehigh Valley velodrome, also known as 'T-town'. The close proximity of the new track was met with mixed feelings by the Lehigh Valley velodrome CEO, Erin Hartwell. He told Cyclingnews that he "hopes we can work with [VMG] to promote the sport together, and to co-promote events. If we don't, it will be bad for both venues". Hartwell admitted that "there is definitely something lacking [as far as facilites] on the east coast".
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?...ov06/nov04news

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    No,they actually fully endorse the project. How do i know-I'm part of it ! I've had many meetings w/LVV and all is well. I know the article u reference and I know Erin. trust me, we are teamed in this.

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    Too bad it is not the first indoor velo on the east coast (MSqGarden) but the first one in along time. I hope they get it done.

    S/F,
    CEYA!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackman2
    No,they actually fully endorse the project. How do i know-I'm part of it ! I've had many meetings w/LVV and all is well. I know the article u reference and I know Erin. trust me, we are teamed in this.
    This article strongly suggest things are not as hunky dory as you seem to claim.

    http://www.mcall.com/sports/other/al...,3762238.story

  9. #9
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial_tone
    This article strongly suggest things are not as hunky dory as you seem to claim.

    http://www.mcall.com/sports/other/al...,3762238.story
    So what's so difficult about coordinating races? They're coordinated all around the globe and promoters work together on it.
    The two tracks this close together can only be a good thing. After all the T-town track isn't like a dirt oval. It also has a good legacy of producing riders...I wouldn't read too much into his cautionary tone.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by humble_biker
    So what's so difficult about coordinating races? They're coordinated all around the globe and promoters work together on it.
    The two tracks this close together can only be a good thing. After all the T-town track isn't like a dirt oval. It also has a good legacy of producing riders...I wouldn't read too much into his cautionary tone.
    Two tracks this close together does little to increase the base appeal of track cycling. It will be the same riders at both tracks. Better to build a new velodrome where there isn't a good one already if you want to draw NEW riders to the track. Virginia or Maryland may have been better in that respect.

    - Lehigh has big races on Friday nights. Most riders do road events Saturday/Sunday. If the other track holds Saturday racing they're going to lose some guys to the road. It's inevitable that they're going to both want Friday at some point.

    - Weekday nights for for Master's, women, 2/3 racers, 4/5's, juniors and on down the line so each track has make sure there's no overlap. Even if you get that right what if a guy wants to race 2/3 one night and Masters another?

    - It's hard enough getting people to drive an hour each way to race 2 hours on a work/school night.

    I used to do the scheduling for the East Point Velodrome. It was hard enough when there were NO other tracks around. Bottom line is both tracks will competing for the same riders and they can't be in two places at once.

  11. #11
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial_tone
    Two tracks this close together does little to increase the base appeal of track cycling. It will be the same riders at both tracks. Better to build a new velodrome where there isn't a good one already if you want to draw NEW riders to the track. Virginia or Maryland may have been better in that respect.

    - Lehigh has big races on Friday nights. Most riders do road events Saturday/Sunday. If the other track holds Saturday racing they're going to lose some guys to the road. It's inevitable that they're going to both want Friday at some point.

    - Weekday nights for for Master's, women, 2/3 racers, 4/5's, juniors and on down the line so each track has make sure there's no overlap. Even if you get that right what if a guy wants to race 2/3 one night and Masters another?

    - It's hard enough getting people to drive an hour each way to race 2 hours on a work/school night.

    I used to do the scheduling for the East Point Velodrome. It was hard enough when there were NO other tracks around. Bottom line is both tracks will competing for the same riders and they can't be in two places at once.
    Call me an optimist. Here's a scenario: There is an area with no track, a track is built, local people start riding on the track, more and better track riders are the result.
    Also when are the big indoor events held? Winter time.
    I live 20 minutes from T-town and am in favor of the Valley Forge track.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by humble_biker
    Call me an optimist. Here's a scenario: There is an area with no track, a track is built, local people start riding on the track, more and better track riders are the result.
    Philly cannot truly be considered "an area with no track", considering how far part most velodromes are. Any Philadelphians with even the slightest inkling to experience the track would hopefully consider T-Town local enough to drive there. We have two tracks here in L.A. and people STILL drive 2-2.5 hours to San Diego for another chance to race. You want to attract new riders? Put it in a cycling-friendly area with no other track in the entire state.


    Also when are the big indoor events held? Winter time.
    Yes, the World Cup is in winter. Do you think the UCI will give the U.S. two dates? Probably not, so that event will alternate annually between L.A. and Philly. I tried scheduling some big events in Atlanta during late April where it's quite nice out. A lot of big riders came down (Trey Gannon, Marty Nothstein, Jason Garner) but being from cold weather states almost everyone of them had not even been on their track bike that early in the year.


    I live 20 minutes from T-town and am in favor of the Valley Forge track.
    My point exactly...you don't represent bringing new riders to the track.

    I'm all for optimism...right up to when reality smacks it in the face. Hopefully, you're right but it's clear Erin has some concerns. In the words of Charles Barkley - I may be wrong but I don't think so.

  13. #13
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial_tone
    Philly cannot truly be considered "an area with no track", considering how far part most velodromes are. Any Philadelphians with even the slightest inkling to experience the track would hopefully consider T-Town local enough to drive there. We have two tracks here in L.A. and people STILL drive 2-2.5 hours to San Diego for another chance to race. You want to attract new riders? Put it in a cycling-friendly area with no other track in the entire state.



    Yes, the World Cup is in winter. Do you think the UCI will give the U.S. two dates? Probably not, so that event will alternate annually between L.A. and Philly. I tried scheduling some big events in Atlanta during late April where it's quite nice out. A lot of big riders came down (Trey Gannon, Marty Nothstein, Jason Garner) but being from cold weather states almost everyone of them had not even been on their track bike that early in the year.



    My point exactly...you don't represent bringing new riders to the track.

    I'm all for optimism...right up to when reality smacks it in the face. Hopefully, you're right but it's clear Erin has some concerns. In the words of Charles Barkley - I may be wrong but I don't think so.
    Good points. One thing to also consider in terms of TTown is that isn't privately owned. It is operated by Lehigh County Parks (it's free to ride there and is open dawn to dusk just like any other city park) and has been for some time.

    I am new to the track though. And I'll go and ride in Valley Forge too. Not to beat a dead horse but there is also talk of DeSales University also building an indoor track and that one would be damn near next door to T-Town.(purported)

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    Senior Member peterm5365's Avatar
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    I think they'd be better off spending the money to put a roof over T-town. I'm 4 hours from the nearest velodrome (which will hopefully change in a couple of years) and I'm rather lucky compared to a lot of people.

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    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    I would think there'd be a way to put up a cheap tent over a 250m track, like a circus tent or something that isn't a permanent roof.

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    Senior Member peterm5365's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial_tone
    I would think there'd be a way to put up a cheap tent over a 250m track, like a circus tent or something that isn't a permanent roof.
    T-town is 333m, but yeah I don't see why you couldn't do one of those inflatable roof things.

  17. #17
    EdZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackman2
    No,they actually fully endorse the project. How do i know-I'm part of it ! I've had many meetings w/LVV and all is well. I know the article u reference and I know Erin. trust me, we are teamed in this.
    Is that you Mr. Jack Simes?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Australia has 6 indoor tracks so they can't all be expensive builds. Heck, build a concrete track and put up a warehouse around it...ventilation with minimal climate control.

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    Dial Tone,again,T-Town fully endorses this project!!! Humble Biker is correct. The area can + will fully support 2 tracks-why?? Consider- the indoor stadium is going to be multi purpos. Boxing,high school sports,small concerts. These programs will be ongoing w.the main sport of course,cycling. T-Town riders are alrady happy at the potential of training year round. I know the cost(but won't say).The Govenor also loves the idea of multi purpose since the FT. Washington convention center is no more.School programs "during" school season can+will happen because school is in session. Weekend conflicts w/TTown in the summer-no. LPVelo will be staging other events during those times. TTown needs to stay on its feet which at times can be fragile.

  20. #20
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Is the new velodrome going to be open to the public, like T-town is?
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Being in an area with 3 tracks (SoCal), I think more is better. The tracks here work reasonably well together to avoid conflicts in scheduling and have complementary programs, as well as a few events where we collaborate.

    As far as sharing the facility, you pretty much have to with an indoor 250-- it's expensive to operate the building and needs to have a lot of paying customers. Despite the loss of most of the infield at ADT, things are working pretty well and ridership and interest are increasing.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    The biggest impediment to people getting into track cycling is not having a track close enough to train at. I know people in Orange County who refuse to come to the ADT because they don't want to have to deal with the traffic into LA after work. And they live and work closer to the track than I do!!

    So, having a track that is convenient and easy to get to is a plus.

    I think that when we have so many tracks that road races and Crits have a hard time getting entrants because everyone is racing their local velodrome, then we can consider that we have saturated the market. Until then, the more the merrier!!

    The Velodrome Phoenix
    Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead. -- H. Chinaski

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial_tone
    Australia has 6 indoor tracks so they can't all be expensive builds. Heck, build a concrete track and put up a warehouse around it...ventilation with minimal climate control.
    A small (200 m or less) track can be relatively cheap to build and maintain. Forest City (138 m) was built for ~$100K CAD in an old hockey rink. I think Burnaby is a 200 with a bubble over it. UCI built a 200 at their training center in switzerland. Dale Hughes has publicly said something to the effect that if you can get ~$200K he can get you a track Apparently once you have the money committed it's not hard to find a public facility like a park to host it. His Rochester Hills track seems to be doing alright, and partly due to being built by volunteers with public funds-- that it exists at all is an indication of the committment of the local riders to have it there and use it.

    You can't hold UCI championship events on a track less than 250 m, but you can have a lot of fun. A lot (most?) of the six-days are held on short tracks.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    I recently heard that groundbreaking for the new indoor velodrome in Lower Providence will start in April. Anyone here anymore? Thanks!

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    I live in Lower Providence and can easily pass the site on my way home from work. Last time I checked there was no activity. I'll spin past today on my way home and see if anything looks like it happening and post tomorrow.

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