Beyond velodromes – the urban velo campus


Source: chicagovelocampus.com

Numerous cities around the globe have invested in bicycle commuting and recreational cycling infrastructure to provide active/non-motorized options to their residents. The third spoke in the wheel of establishing a complete cycling portfolio in a community is to provide a safe and accessible location for bicycle racing and/or training – a.k.a. a velodrome.

London’s Olympic Velodrome – Source: guardian.co.uk

Designed and properly located, a velodrome is a potential economic development tool for a community by attracting cycling competitors from around the country/world, their friends and families, as well as cycling enthusiasts and tourists. Beyond that however, the facility must be designed with the local residents in mind, so that it is not just an intermittent attraction, but a focal point of the entire community. Improperly placed or focused and a velodrome will not be successful in the long term.

As an urban planner, I tend to disagree with the approach of locating lone velodromes in a large park setting away from area restaurants, hotels, shopping, housing, and/or other sport and entertainment venues. To be successful over the long-term and become a community focal point (or great third place), a velodrome must be engrained into the urban environment in the same way a baseball stadium, arena, outdoor ice rink, amphitheater, or civic center are done. Mixing a sports venue with the adjacent urban landscape helps produce economic spin-off and other side benefits beyond the periphery of the track.  One only need look at the success of Comerica Park (Detroit), Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore), Cooley Law School Stadium (Lansing), Victory Field (Indianapolis), and similar examples to know that placing a sports venue in the heart of the community can reap many rewards.

Proposed 2015 Pan Am Games Velodrome in Milton, Ontario – Source: milton.ca

To do otherwise risks the potential of an “out of sight, out of mind” scenario that could lead to operational and financial problems. Just like any other kind of real estate – location, location, location are the three most important aspects of assuring a site will be successful.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Beyond the notion of an easily accessible urban location, I believe a velo campus as is being created along Chicago’s south lakeshore is a smarter and more economically viable option than a lone velodrome aimed at serious riders. Here is a list of amenities at Chicago’s velo campus complex:

  • State of the Art Indoor 250m Velodrome Track
  • Outdoor and Indoor Mountain Bike tracks (MTB)
  • Outdoor Cyclocross Track
  • Triathlon Training Center
  • Wind Tunnel Facility
  • Indoor Olympic Sized Swimming Pool
  • Indoor 400 meter Running Track
  • Fitness Center
  • Coaching and Education Facility
  • Olympic Development Training Center
  • Youth Beginner, Elite and Masters Programs
  • Community Center
  • Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Center
  • Sports Retail
  • Cycling Museum
  • Restaurant, Cafe, and a Healthy Juice Bar

Boulder, Colorado, which is certainly a sport and fitness-minded city, recently endured the closing of its local indoor velodrome which had been open only since 2008. Part of the problem may have been the fact that the velodrome was too singularly focused.

Here in Greater Lansing, locating a velo campus near the heart of the city would help put the metropolitan area on the proverbial fitness and cycling map as an progressive community that champions healthy lifestyles, active sports and recreation, and good fitness. The vicinity of US 127 and Michigan Avenue would be midway between downtown Lansing and dowtown East Lansing/Michigan State University. To me the concept of a multi-purpose velo campus is a much more attractive alternative than a velodrome alone, as it would have options for all ages and skill levels. In addition, to attract year round usage, curling sheets and an outdoor ice skating rink could be incorporated into the project, possibly even within the infield. Personally, I would prefer something positive and health conscious like a velo campus compared to a current proposal of a downtown casino.

While a lengthy list of velodromes (per wikipedia and other sources) is provided at the conclusion of this post, here are weblinks for some American communities that have recently discovered the potential of velodromes include Rock Hill, South Carolina; Erie, Colorado; Washington, DC; and Cleveland, Ohio. A number of additional facilities are proposed or under construction around the world.

Proposed DC Velodrome – Source: dcist.com

Here’s a list of velodromes around the world as identified by wikipedia and other resources (see weblinks) – indoor facilities are so noted.

Argentina (39)

  • Antonio Ríos Velodrome, San Rafael, 250m
  • Bahiense Pedal Club Velodrome, Bahía Blanca, 250m
  • Buenos Aires Municipal (defunct), Buenos Aires, 333m
  • Chavense Pedal Club Velodrome, Adolfo González Chaves
  • City of Esperanza Velodrome, Esperanza, 250m
  • Concepción del Uruguay Track, Concepción del Uruguay
  • Concordia Municipal Velodrome, Concordia
  • Don Pedro Milanese Velodrome, Formosa
  • Eduardo Maero (Bº Ayacucho) Velodrome, Córdoba, 250m
  • Ernesto Contreras Provincial Velodrome, Mendoza, 333m
  • Gabriel Deramond Municipal Velodrome, Caleta Olivia
  • Gen. Belgrano Park Velodrome (defunct), Salta
  • Héctor Cassina Velodrome, Rafaela, 250m
  • Jorge Batiz Velodrome, Corral de Bustos
  • Julio Polet Panamerican Velodrome, Mar del Plata, 250m
  • KDT Circuit Velodrome, Buenos Aires, 333m
  • Las Breñas Cycle Assoc. Velodrome, Las Breñas, 400m
  • Luján Velodrome, José María Jáuregui
  • Luna Park (defunct), Buenos Aires
  • Mayo Park Velodrome, San Juan, 400m
  • Posadas City Park Velodrome/Track, Posadas
  • Reconquista Municipal Velodrome, Reconquista, 333m
  • Resistencia Velodrome, Resistencia, 400m
  • Río Cuarto Municipal Velodrome, Río Cuarto, 250m
  • Roberto “Paco” Echegaray Velodrome, San Carlos de Bariloche
  • Rosario Municipal Velodrome, Rosario, 250m
  • Rubén Rosetti Velodrome, Junín, 333m
  • Rufino Velodrome, Rufino
  • Sáenz Peña Velodrome, Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña
  • San Francisco Velodrome, San Francisco, 400m
  • San Luis Provincial Velodrome, San Luis, 250m
  • San Nicolás Track, San Nicolás de los Arroyos
  • Thompson Beach Complex Track, Paraná
  • Trenque Lauquen Circuit, Trenque Lauquen
  • Tres de Febrero Velodrome, Villa Martínez de Hoz
  • Unzué Park Municipal Velodrome, Gualeguaychú
  • Velodrome of the Lagoon, Santa Rosa
  • Venado Tuerto Municipal Velodrome, Venado Tuerto
  • Vicente Alejo Chancay Velodrome, San Juan, 250m

Australia (39)

Australian Capital Territory

  • Narrabundah Capital Velodrome, Canberra, 333m

New South Wales

Northern Territory

  • Darwin Velodrome, Darwin, 333m
  • Dalgety Road Velodrome, Alice Springs, 333m

Queensland

  • Gold Coast Cycling Centre, Nerang, 356m
  • Kenrick Tucker Velodrome, Rockhampton,  333.33m
  • Chandler Velodrome, Brisbane

South Australia

  • Adelaide Super-Drome, Gepps Cross, (indoor) 250m
  • Blue Lake Sports Park Velodrome, Mount Gambier, 250m
  • Graeme Jose Velodrome, Whyalla, 269m
  • Port Pirie Velodrome, Port Pirie, 502m

Tasmania

  • St. Helens Velodrome, St Helens
  • Silverdome, Launceston, (indoor) 287m

Victoria

  • Bob Whitford Velodrome, Newborough
  • Joe Ciavola Velodrome, Darebin International Sports Centre (DISC), Melbourne, (indoor) 250m,
  • Brunswick Velodrome, East Brunswick, 312m
  • Castlemaine Velodrome, Castlemaine
  • Chelsea Velodrome, Edithvale, 502m
  • Coburg Velodrome, Coburg, 250m
  • David Blackie Velodrome, Ararat, 250m
  • H.A. Smith Reserve Velodrome, Hawthorn, 250m
  • Hisense Arena, Melbourne, (indoor) 250m
  • Kyneton Velodome, Hurry Reserve Kyneton, 250m
  • Maryborough Velodrome, Avoca Rd Maryborough, 333m
  • Packer Park Velodrome, Carnegie, 335m
  • Sale Velodrome, Sale
  • Shepparton Velodrome, Shepparton, 333m
  • Tom Flood Sports Centre Velodrome, Bendigo, 412m
  • Wangaratta Velodrome, Wangaratta, 490m
  • Warragul Velodrome, Warragul, 333m

Western Australia

Austria (1)

  • Ferry-Dusika-Hallenstadion, Vienna, (indoor)

Belgium (14)

  • Gent-Blaarmeersen, Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx (250m, covered) Ghent
  • Gent “Kuipke” (167m, wood, indoor) (somewhere referred as Citadel Park Velodrome) Ghent
  • Antwerpen, Antwerps Sportpaleis (indoor) Antwerpen
  • Zemst (Elewijt), 377m
  • Hulshout, 384m
  • Ans (Alleur), 400m
  • Peer – Length, 400m
  • Charleroi (Gilly), 250m
  • Rochefort (Jemelle), 400m
  • Rebecq (Quenast), 333.33m
  • Oostende (Stene), 333.33m
  • Antwerpen (Wilrijk), 333.33
  • Brugge (Assebroek), 333.33m
  • Beveren, 400m

Bolivia (1)

Canada (9)

Alberta

British Columbia

New Brunswick

Ontario

Quebec

China (2)

Cuba (1)

  • Velodromo Reinaldo Paseiro, near Havana

Denmark (3)

  • Ballerup Arena, Copenhagen, (indoor)
  • Odense Cykelbane, Odense
  • Århus Cykelbane, Århus

Estonia (1)

Finland (3)

France (14)

Germany (26)

  • RSG, Augsburg, (indoor)
  • Velodrom, Berlin, (indoor)
  • Bielefeld
  • NRW-Leistungszentrum, Kaarst-Büttgen, (indoor)
  • Stadthalle, Bremen, (indoor)
  • Chemnitz
  • Cottbus
  • VCD, Darmstadt
  • “Badewanne”, Dudenhofen
  • Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, (indoor)
  • Gera
  • Stellingen, Hamburg, (covered)
  • Wuelfel, Hannover
  • Radstadion, Köln, (semi-covered)
  • Rosch-Kampfbahn, Leipzig
  • Mannheim
  • Olympiahalle, München, (indoor)
  • Reichelsdorfer Keller, Nürnberg
  • Oberhausen/Baden
  • Leistungszentrum BW, Oeschelbronn
  • Rostock
  • “Schanzenberg-Bahn”, Saarbrücken
  • Schopp
  • Singen/Hohentwiel
  • Solingen
  • Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, (indoor)

Greece (1)

  • Olympic Velodrome (Athens) (indoor)

Hungary (2)

  • Millenáris (Millenarian) Sports Yard, Budapest, 412 m (1896)
  • Tamási track,city of Tamási, 400 m

India (5)

  • Indian Cycling Velodrome 333 m
  • Commonwealth Games Velodrome, New Delhi, (indoor) 250m
  • Jabalpur,Veerangna Rani Durgawati Sports Complex Jabalpur
  • Hyderabad, Osmania University
  • Guru Nanak Dev University Cycling Velodrome, Amritsar

Italy (3)

Japan (70)

Tracks for amateur races (City/Velodrome/Length)

  • Aomori Hachinohe Velodrome 333 m
  • Iwate Shiwa Velodrome 333 m
  • Miyagi Prefectural management Velodrome 400 m
  • Miyagi Taiwa City Velodrome 333 m
  • Akita Rokugo Velodrome 500 m
  • Yamagata Shinjyo Cycle Sports Contre 400 m
  • Fukushima Izumisaki International Cycle Stadium 333 m
  • Tokyo Tokyo Dome Stadium(Indoor/Sectional) 400 m
  • Ishikawa Uchinada Velodrome 400 m
  • Yamanashi Sakaigawa Velodrome 400 m
  • Nagano Karigane Velodrome 333 m
  • Shizuoka Japan Cycle Sports Centre 250 m
  • Shizuoka Japan Cycle Sports Centre 400 m
  • Shizuoka Nihon Keirin Gakko (Japan Keirin School) 333 m
  • Shizuoka Nihon Keirin Gakko (Japan Keirin School) 400 m
  • Osaka Kansai Cycle Sports Centre 400 m
  • Hyogo Akashi Velodrome 400 m
  • Tottori Kurayoshi City Velodrome 333 m
  • Shimane Ota City Velodrome 333 m
  • Fukuoka Moji Keirin Velodrome 500 m
  • Miyazaki Prefectural management Park Velodrome 400 m
  • Kagoshima Nejime Velodrome 400 m
  • Okinawa Prefectural Management Park Velodrome 333 m

Tracks for Keirin races(City/Velodrome/Length)

Lithuania (1)

Malaysia (2)

Mexico (1)

The Netherlands (3)

New Zealand (13)

  • Manukau Velodrome, 285m, Auckland
  • Wanganui Velodrome, 250m, Wanganui
  • Te Awamutu Velodrome, 450m
  • Rotorua Velodrome, 333m
  • Wellington Velodrome, 333m, Wellington
  • Nelson, 512m
  • Denton Park, 400m, Christchurch
  • Tinwald, 400m, Ashburton
  • Timaru, 400m
  • Temuka, 400m
  • Waimate, 400m
  • Seddon Park Velodrome, 250m, Dunedin
  • Invercargill ILT Velodrome, 250m, Invercargill

Nigeria (1)

  • Abuja Velodrome, Abuja (indoor)

Pakistan (9)

  • Lahore (indoor) 250m (under construction)
  • Islamabad (under construction)
  • Sialkot (under construction)
  • Faisalabad (under construction)
  • Sargodha (under construction)
  • Hyderabad (under construction)
  • Rahim Yar Khan (under construction)
  • Quetta (under construction)
  • Peshawar (under construction)

Peru (2)

  • National Velodrome La Videna, Lima
  • Velodrome Cerro Juli, Arequipa

Philippines (1)

Poland (1)

Portugal (2)

  • Anadia Municipality – Centro de Alto Rendimento
  • Sangalhos Velodrome

Russia (1)

  • Velodrome (Velotrack) “Krylatskoe” Moscow (indoor)

South Africa (4)

South Korea (2)

Spain (6)

Sweden (1)

  • Falun, YA Arena, 190m, (indoor)

United Kingdom (23)

England

Northern Ireland

  • Orangefield Track, Belfast, 396 m

Scotland

Wales

United States of America (29)

California

Colorado

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Indiana

Louisiana

Michigan

Minnesota

Missouri

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Texas

Washington

Wisconsin

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8 Responses to Beyond velodromes – the urban velo campus

  1. Kurt Wallace says:

    Great post Rick. A couple of typos: “mulyi-purpose” near the bottom, and “a intermittent” near the top, plus ingrained should be engrained?

    Like

  2. Tim Potter says:

    Excellent observations. Velodromes have played a big role in my life and my inlaws in Japan (8 of whom were pro keirin racers; my father-in-law having been a natl keirin champ in’61). I would love to work on a velo campus concept for the area w/the you. It’s a great concept that has proven itself many times over.
    I would also encourage any of your readers to come to the 4th Annual Americane Vitage Track and Road Bike Festival at the Intl Velodrome at Bloomer Park this June 30. The event is on Facebook.
    PS: Kurt and I both had the pleasure of riding on a pro velodrome in Japan together in the early ’80s.

    Like

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