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  1. #1
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    What's wrong at the Frisco Superdrome?

    I've been lucky enough to visit quite a few velodromes over the years. This year was the first time I went to Frisco TX to the Superdrome. It's a great facility, really world class. But WTF? It's program is a total disaster for the caliber facility it is. The manager is some bleached blonde hippy dude who, instead of working on a Friday night when races are running, sits up in the stands and brags about how cool he is in his dirty t-shirt and flip flops. There are some pretty fair local racers, but a track like that deserves to have National class and world class stars on it every week, ala Trexlertown.

    One night they allowed some fat guy who appeared drunk to use the microphone and do the announcing. The crowd was very small, no more than 50 people, and that jerk insulted them and drove some of new fans away. Luckily the head official told him to STFU because he was holding up the racing. The officials seemed to be doing a decent job at least.

    I met some really nice people down there, and some good riders. Every single one of them deserves a better program than what the Superdrome management is giving them. It's run like local club instead of the Olympic class facility it is and should be. Sad. Very sad.

    I half expect to get flamed by locals from DFW. Well, I'm on your side, unless you're one of the stooges managing that place. Y'all need to fire the surfer kid and hire someone who knows how to promote a great program for you.

  2. #2
    Riding behind enemy lines iluvfreebeer's Avatar
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    I don't think that fat guy was drunk. That's just they way he acts -- class clown with no skills. I think his name is Mark something or other. He's sort of the class clown around there.

    And you're right, the program there is a complete embarrassment to cycling considering that it's the best outdoor velodrome in the US. There are some decent Cat 2s around and a lot of nice people. But that doesn't build a great program. Why don't they have top pros resident there all season long the way T-town does? I know why -- SMG - Amateur night. No excuse for it. None.

    I think the "dude" that runs SMG is a former bike shop manager and mountain biker, and he's in way over his head. The Frisco City council needs to step up and hire someone with a real background in running successful velodrome and racing programs. That way the track could earn money (a profit!), bring in money to the community and become a Gold Star on the map for Frisco -- all while having a great development program for new riders, local club racing and some real pros for Friday nights. Obviously Trexlertown found the formula 34 years ago. It could be done in Frisco, but better. It's a faster track, Olympic size, longer season, etc.

    Yep, it's sad. Local cycling around here does deserve better. But there's always that "not invented here in Texas" inbreed attitude to deal with as well which stops progress.

    Probably why I've been to Alkek so much this year. At least Houston was smart enough to hire someone who knows his way around a velodrome when they brought Leigh Barcewski in.
    ------------------------------------

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  3. #3
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    As someone who regularly rides, races and volunteers at the Superdrome, I can say that the problems there go well beyond certain individuals. First, understand that the City of Frisco has little interest in track racing promotion, and were it not for the youth program would simply shut the place down. Most of the work there is done by volunteers such as myself (I am the Tuesday night track monitor for open riding), and all of the promotions are small dollar done by a few locals who just like track racing. I myself put on a few sprint events, and lost money in the deal, since very few riders showed. I will not do any more promotions. There are never many spectators in the stands nor are there many at Alkek either, since basically this part of the country has no interest in cycling. Even when the former EDS Superdrome promoted elite nationals, the stands were not filled. Yes, the Superdrome is a great physical facility, but it is in a terrible location. As they say in business, it's all about location, location, location. It's a fact that July and August in Texas is hell on earth, and on Friday nights the temperature on the track can easily exceed 100 degrees (it's been up to 120 degrees in late afternoon), and few riders are going to show up no matter what the program is like. I just came back from Colorado Springs from master's nats, and practically passed out from the heat when I returned to the Superdrome.

    As far as the track manager is concerned, his name is Tim Goodwin, he is a former track national champion, and he *does* know track racing. His job is not to run the races, but to maintain the track. The officials and track race director work the races. I don't know what if anything the City of Frisco pays him, however, it's probably not very much and certainly not enough to make a living.

  4. #4
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    Obviously the people there have done a great job resurrecting that track after it was practically shut down. But it's of such phenomenal value and potential that it seems obvious that something drastic needs to be done in order for it to realize it's potential. And we'd all benefit from that.

  5. #5
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGtrack View Post
    Frisco needs to actively look for an experienced hand who has been there, done that to maximize the great potential that the superdrome has.

    As for the heat in summer, nah, that doesn't float. Heat and humidity in other areas is bad too and I live in Frisco. Besides, there are options to put a roof/enclose the track that SMG hasn't even explored. Yeah that takes money, but build a great program first, then the money will come.

    WE the local cyclists, fans and the sport deserve better.
    First, my condolances to you for having to live in Frisco. I can now understand why you are such an angry and vitriolic person. When you say that Frisco needs to recruit a better person to manage the Superdrome, you are simply ignoring the fact that the city officials have no interest whatsoever in developing the Superdrome beyond local activities and that the local citizenry have absolutely no interest in track racing. Do you think that Roger Young, who I know, or Erin Hartwell would be willing to relocate to north Texas and work essentially for free? Are you aware that USAC has essentially black balled the Superdrome for national championships because of the heat in summer, which you have poo-pooed (did you notice the massive dropoff in attendance in the SPS races once the summer temps got in the 100s). Do you have any idea what it would cost to place a roof or enclose the Superdrome, and who would put up the money to do this? The sad fact is that track racing is on the decline throughout the USA, and that LA and TTown are notable exceptions. Sponsorship is very difficult if not impossible to find, and simply ranting that "we...deserve better" does nothing to improve the situation.

    IMO, it is better to quietly contribute what I can, and help others benefit from the track. As I stated in my previous post, I serve as the Tuesday night open riding track monitor, despite having a 120 mile round trip drive to do so. I've also donated my technical expertise for the resurfacing project and performed the inspection for free to save the track some money. And, I have promoted events on a hope-to-break-even basis. Since you live in Frisco close to the track, what if anything do you contribute to its success, other than complaining about its management? It is easy to criticize and blame others for perceived failure, but it is far more difficult to provide positive contributions.

  6. #6
    Riding behind enemy lines iluvfreebeer's Avatar
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    Volunteers won't fix the problems in Frisco. A solid promotion and marketing plan will. And as for the City's interest. That interest would expand exponentially with the right guidance.
    And FYI, USAC hasn't blackballed the Superdrome because of the temperature. I know that from my involvement with USAC.

    As for the roof, I know precisely how much it would cost, how to raise the funds for it, and run the program. But since the ideas didn't come from an insider, they were ignored.
    ------------------------------------

    Armstrong never got caught cheating.
    That probably makes him as good a cheater as a cyclist.

    -- Some guy at the Dallas Crits

  7. #7
    Riding behind enemy lines iluvfreebeer's Avatar
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    One more thing TejanoTrackie, if Frisco is so bad, and all the people there are as horrible as you say, why do you come to our track?
    ------------------------------------

    Armstrong never got caught cheating.
    That probably makes him as good a cheater as a cyclist.

    -- Some guy at the Dallas Crits

  8. #8
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iluvfreebeer View Post
    One more thing TejanoTrackie, if Frisco is so bad, and all the people there are as horrible as you say, why do you come to our track?
    I think you are very confused on all this. I NEVER said people involved with the track are bad, horrible, whatever. Others posting on this thread have said bad things about certain people, but NOT me. Not only do I come to the track with regularity, because I recognize how fortunate I am to have the availability of this great facility, I have physically and materially contributed to it in many ways far beyond the call of duty. So when you refer to it as your track, it is rightfully my track as well. Be dismissive of lowly volunteers such as myself if you want and pontificate on how you could fix everything if only you had the opportunity. Talk is cheap, and I know that I at least have the gratitude of those folks who attend open riding on Tuesday nites or the few that have attended my races.

    My swipe at the City of Frisco is based on my experiences with the local non-cycling citizenry, who show no interest in the track and are generally hostile to road cyclists in the area. Even just driving around there in my truck I encounter rude overly agressive motorists. And then there is the sad fact, which is not Frisco's fault, that the location and traffic situation makes it difficult for many people in the DFW area to attend Friday nite racing. I have attempted in vain to get more people in the Fort Worth area to attend the FNR, but most cannot leave their jobs early to make it in time.

    I have been involved with track racing for nearly 40 years, and never in my life have I been so close (60 miles) to such a fine facility. I used to live in Michigan, and thought nothing of driving over 200 miles to race at Northbrook or even 275 miles to race at Major Taylor (Indy). The nearest track was Dorais in Detroit, which was in such terrible shape that only heavy road tires could be used. I will continue to do my part to help the Superdrome regardless of all the noise that is being posted throughout various forums.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    First, my condolances to you for having to live in Frisco. I can now understand why you are such an angry and vitriolic person.
    I haven't seen anything resembling anger or vitriol until you wrote that. Why are you condemning everyone who lives in Frisco (and presumably the surrounding area)??? That is seriously lacking in logic.

    I and other posters have pointed out the following:
    A) the volunteers at the superdrome are great people and have done a wonderful job getting the track reopened
    B) Tim did a good job reorganizing the track and getting it reopened, but it needs to go to the next level and he does not seem to have the background or skill set necessary for that.
    C) The EDS team was run by a convicted felon who plead guilty to defrauding EDS out of more than $1 Million.

    Facts do not equal vitriol or anger.

    I think we'd all like to see a world class program at the superdrome because it's a facility that can support it.

    I know from having experienced it from the beginning, T-Town was not they cycling mecca it is today when it opened in 1974. It was made that way through profesional planning and management, along with great volunteers and corporate support.

    As for track racing being on the decline in the US, well, it has been for more than a decade and it's going to take some thinking outside the box to get our program up to the level of Australia let alone the Brits who dominate now. And we can't count on Obama to bail us out. We have to do it ourselves.

    As a man I would think you'd be embarrassed that until Phinney's arrival last year the US men have been non-competitive on the world stage for more than a decade. We haven't had a decent sprinter of international stature since Nothstein retired. That's pathetic. Don't you want to move the sport forward instead of it regressing into the local club stage it was in the 1960s? Because that's what the current situation at the superdrome looks like. And it has so much more potential than that.

  10. #10
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandaCO View Post
    I haven't seen anything resembling anger or vitriol until you wrote that. Why are you condemning everyone who lives in Frisco (and presumably the surrounding area)??? That is seriously lacking in logic.
    See my post above regarding Frisco.

    Your original post was pretty rude and insulting. Dirty language as in WTF. You referred to Tim Goodwin as "bleached blonde hippy dude" and Mark Nelson as "some fat guy who appeared drunk". That's not a good way to start a civil or logical discussion.

    As far as the decline of American track racing, it's not something I wish, but nearly 40 years in the sport has infused me with a sense of reality. Better to simply reopen the Superdrome and provide some local activities than not to open it at all. At the present time I don't see any knight in shining armor coming to the rescue.
    Last edited by TejanoTrackie; 08-31-09 at 10:43 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iluvfreebeer View Post
    Volunteers won't fix the problems in Frisco. A solid promotion and marketing plan will. And as for the City's interest. That interest would expand exponentially with the right guidance.
    I have news for you. Not only CAN volunteers fix the problems...they will HAVE to. Nobody else will care.

    I used to run the Dick Lane velodrome in the mid 90's. Nobody with the city of East Point gave two sh*ts about the track. It was just a concrete dinosaur to them. The track had no full time employees, just myself and another guy named John James (who in some years did everything by himself). That is not enough people to create a racing/training program; sell sponsorships; advertise events; maintain the track; and create buzz in the community. There were many days I would cut out early from my real job on race day so I could get out and trim the grass on race day. If you cut the lights on too early the circuit would trip and the lights would cut off, which happened DURING a race. We received zero funds from East Point and the racing was run at a loss out of our pockets because we just liked track racing. At times racers are some of the most ungrateful people I've ever encountered anywhere but I won't go into that.

    I haven't been there in many years but it seems that DLV now has a VERY large group of people that care. The program there has never been better than it is now and it's ALL because of volunteers.

    A couple of people isn't going to cut it at any track anywhere. You seriously need 10-15 people minimum to really handle everything involved. T-Town has a paid staff and you're on crack if you think the track revenue covers the programs ANDall their salaries. Rather than ***** about that guy in the stands on race night, go up and ask him what YOU can do to help, then take a night off racing yourself and do just that. I guarantee you that guy does a boatload of things you never see.

  12. #12
    Old School Track Guy MGtrack's Avatar
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    Asking "that guy" if he wants help won't work. More lackeys is NOT what is needed. What is needed is competent, experienced leadership to direct the volunteers. And, no offense, but other than opening day at Dick Lane (I was there racing), it's never really lived up to it's potential either. Blaming the city's lack of interest is a losing proposition -- the same type of mindset that's screwing up tracks across the US.

    Did you expect an Obama bailout to fix the track problems? They all need to be fixed with a strong dose of capitalism, rugged individuality and leadership.
    "You've got to be willing to rip it all apart. Including yourself."
    ---Steve Woznik -- Multi time USA Sprint and Kilo Champion, Pan Am Games Gold Medalist


  13. #13
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGtrack View Post
    Asking "that guy" if he wants help won't work. More lackeys is NOT what is needed. What is needed is competent, experienced leadership to direct the volunteers. And, no offense, but other than opening day at Dick Lane (I was there racing), it's never really lived up to it's potential either. Blaming the city's lack of interest is a losing proposition -- the same type of mindset that's screwing up tracks across the US.

    Did you expect an Obama bailout to fix the track problems? They all need to be fixed with a strong dose of capitalism, rugged individuality and leadership.
    • Capitalism - operating a track in the U.S. is a money losing proposition...always has been, always will be.
    • Individuality - individuals stepping up and taking things upon themselves.
    • Leadership - if the city won't get involved leadership means volunteers, like I said.
    • Exactly what potential is DLV not living up to? They're never going to host Nats or international races again. It's a non-standard 323* meter track. It's poor concrete and has a creek running through which undermines the foundation. I think they're doing pretty damn well.
    • Frisco will suck until a bunch of volunteers get together and change it...unless you're content to wait for another EDS to show up.


    * - 323.13 meters = 1/5 mile. Americans couldn't comprehend the metric system when it was built, hence the odd length.

  14. #14
    Old School Track Guy MGtrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubbayoo View Post
    • Capitalism - operating a track in the U.S. is a money losing proposition...always has been, always will be.
    • Individuality - individuals stepping up and taking things upon themselves.
    • Leadership - if the city won't get involved leadership means volunteers, like I said.
    • Exactly what potential is DLV not living up to? They're never going to host Nats or international races again. It's a non-standard 323* meter track. It's poor concrete and has a creek running through which undermines the foundation. I think they're doing pretty damn well.
    • Frisco will suck until a bunch of volunteers get together and change it...unless you're content to wait for another EDS to show up.


    * - 323.13 meters = 1/5 mile. Americans couldn't comprehend the metric system when it was built, hence the odd length.

    Wow. That's the most near sighted, pessimistic post I've seen here in a long time. It explains sooooo much.


    -----------
    "You've got to be willing to rip it all apart. Including yourself."
    ---Steve Woznik -- Multi time USA Sprint and Kilo Champion, Pan Am Games Gold Medalist


  15. #15
    Senior Member mugatu's Avatar
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    relax guys, there's weekly fixie rides at mockingbird station now
    the hipsters will save the day as usual

  16. #16
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugatu View Post
    relax guys, there's weekly fixie rides at mockingbird station now
    the hipsters will save the day as usual
    Cooooool doooood! I'll put on my skidz wheelz.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Old School Track Guy MGtrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugatu View Post
    relax guys, there's weekly fixie rides at mockingbird station now
    the hipsters will save the day as usual
    Well, if I have to choose between that and roller disco . . . . Hmmmmmm????
    "You've got to be willing to rip it all apart. Including yourself."
    ---Steve Woznik -- Multi time USA Sprint and Kilo Champion, Pan Am Games Gold Medalist


  18. #18
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGtrack View Post
    Wow. That's the most near sighted, pessimistic post I've seen here in a long time. It explains sooooo much.


    -----------
    You're the one complaining about the track program, not me. I'd say that makes you the pessimist. I told you, from an insider's view, how the problems will get fixed.

  19. #19
    Riding behind enemy lines iluvfreebeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubbayoo View Post
    You're the one complaining about the track program, not me. I'd say that makes you the pessimist. I told you, from an insider's view, how the problems will get fixed.
    Just curious - Can you please point out the tracks that have built world class racing programs on just voluneers with no or limited professional & international racing success under their belts?
    ------------------------------------

    Armstrong never got caught cheating.
    That probably makes him as good a cheater as a cyclist.

    -- Some guy at the Dallas Crits

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by iluvfreebeer View Post
    Just curious - Can you please point out the tracks that have built world class racing programs on just voluneers with no or limited professional & international racing success under their belts?
    Doesn't look like you're getting an answer to that.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iluvfreebeer View Post
    Just curious - Can you please point out the tracks that have built world class racing programs on just voluneers with no or limited professional & international racing success under their belts?
    There aren't any and there won't be any, nor will there be much improvement at Frisco until people who aren't getting paid take it upon themselves to fix things. I don't recall suggesting anyone could achieve an international program with volunteers. From the description of things Frisco doesn't even have national class racing going on. Horse....then cart.


    Quote Originally Posted by amandaCO View Post
    Doesn't look like you're getting an answer to that.
    Guess that makes you wrong too.
    Last edited by Dubbayoo; 09-06-09 at 02:37 PM.

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