Superdrome in Frisco Reopens

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Superdrome, Apr 29, 2003.

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  1. Superdrome

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    The Superdrome in Frisco reopened last Friday after a total resurfacing by a volunteer crew. The
    City of Frisco has turned over the management and operations of the facility to the Frisco Cycling
    Club, and is allowing the cycling community to determine the fate of the Superdrome.

    Below are two links to stories done this weekend in the Dallas Morning News regarding the
    Superdrome.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/localnews/stories/042203dnmetsuperdrome.26a8a.html

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/moresports/stories/wfaa030427_am_superdro
    me.140a8189f.html

    Text of the first link:

    Cycling track ready to race again Years after closing, Frisco Superdrome to host World Cup trials

    04/22/2003

    By ROY APPLETON / The Dallas Morning News

    FRISCO – Frisco's bicycle Superdrome will complete a physical turnaround this weekend, almost a
    year after the city closed what had become a rotting raceway. Volunteer labor and a new bed of wood
    are reviving the oval track in time for three days of World Cup cycling competition this weekend.
    "Oh yeah, we'll make it," said Ryan Crissey, president of the Frisco Cycling Club and a leader of
    the rebuilding effort.

    Plano-based Electronic Data Systems paid for the 250-meter track in a 1998 venture with the city of
    Frisco and the Collin County Community College District. The city borrowed $2.5 million to develop
    the 5-acre site at the college's Preston Ridge campus, and the district agreed to pay for
    maintenance and operations. But EDS backed out of the deal a year later, paying $2 million to
    settle its obligations. Sponsorships lagged. Except for the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials, big-name
    events went elsewhere. Dreams of world-class cycling boosting the local economy gave way to red ink
    and track decay.

    Water infiltration around connection screws rotted most of the track's 708 pieces of plywood. Frisco
    and the college district lost tens of thousands of dollars on the project. And with expenses
    persisting, repairs estimated at $200,000 and track safety a concern, the city and college closed
    the venue in May.

    "That's when we stepped in," Mr. Crissey said Monday, standing on a new stretch of track. The club
    began raising money in the summer with an adopt-a-board campaign. The group signed a one-year
    agreement with the city and college district this year to take over maintenance, operation and
    marketing of the track. Three weeks ago, volunteers began lugging out the old wood and replacing it
    with 4-foot-by-10-foot sheets of 11/8-inch-thick plywood.

    Five years ago, uncoated screws were sunk into the wood, attached to the supporting steel frame and
    covered with putty in an effort to seal the impression. This go around, 12,970 plastic-coated screws
    are being left flush with the board surface. After the weekend event, the wood will be stained and
    sealed. With about $35,000 in collections and pledges, the track – one of 22 such venues in the
    United States – is days away from what club members hope will be a return to competition, a
    renewed opportunity for area cyclists.

    "Our goal is to build the local base" and provide a place for cyclists of all abilities to ride, Mr.
    Crissey said. "I've taught my mother-in-law to ride," he said of the track, which sports inclines as
    steep as 44 degrees.

    The racing begins at 10 a.m. Friday with the final competition getting under way at 10 a.m. Sunday.
    Admission is free. Winners advance to the World Cup next month in Sydney, Australia.

    Area bike shops and clubs led the fund-raising effort, but cyclists from New York City, England and
    elsewhere chipped in for what could be their future training site, Mr. Crissey said. "Everybody told
    us there was no way you could raise $35,000," he said. The 60 or so volunteers include riders from
    the Houston area and Oklahoma, as well as cyclists and nonpedalers from the Dallas area, said Mike
    Gladu, a Houston-based cycling photographer, who is helping direct the project.

    "This is grass roots at its best," he said.

    Club volunteers will staff the city-owned track. And the 35-member club, using donations and event
    proceeds, will cover the costs, including utilities that, with outdoor lighting, can top $2,000 a
    month, said Mr. Crissey.

    Frisco taxpayers still owe $2.2 million plus interest in bond debt for the project, which pales
    compared to the city's other sports projects: $67 million for a minor-league baseball stadium,
    hockey center and parking, and $20 million for a proposed soccer complex.

    "If these guys can't make it work, then it's dead," council member Matt Lafata said in November as
    the council endorsed the cycling group's plan. Mayor Mike Simpson and City Manager George Purefoy
    said they believe this latest venture – with a group passionate for its sport – will be good for
    cycling and Frisco. "We're confident they can do what they say they will do," the mayor said.

    Text of second link

    Frisco Superdrome open again after repairs
    04/23/2003

    From Staff Reports

    A Collin County cycling track once touted as one of the best in the world is now back in business.

    The Frisco Superdrome shut down in May 2002 after it fell into disrepair and became too expensive
    to operate. But, through some hard work and volunteerism, a local cycling club brought the venue
    back to life.

    The Superdrome opened in 1998, a joint venture of the city of Frisco, Collin County Community
    College and Electronic Data Systems. It attracted world-class events, including the 2000 U.S.
    Olympic trials. It was also the proposed track-cycling venue for North Texas' 2012 Olympic bid.

    EDS backed out of its Superdrome sponsorship a year later. Sponsors became disinterested, big-time
    events went elsewhere, and expensive boards started rotting, making the track dangerous.

    So last May, the city and college closed it.

    'Their expenses were out of control, the maintenance was out of control, and we felt we could give
    them a proposal that would solve all that,' said Ryan Crissey of the Frisco Cycling Club.

    Crissey's club proposed taking over management of the Superdrome in an effort to save it. The city
    and college gave them the chance, so the club raised $40,000 to replace decaying plywood, which
    volunteers installed this week. The Superdrome reopened with another international event, the World
    Cup qualifying round.

    'It should appeal hopefully to the youth in the community, and to the seasoned riders in the area,
    for the whole state,' said Richardson Bike Mart owner Jim Hoyt.

    Cycling enthusiasts said for the Superdrome to survive, it will need more sponsors and a little
    marketing.

    'World of mouth has done a lot, actually,' said cyclist Shaun Bonavita. 'That's what got me out
    here, I heard there was a track in Frisco. Come out and try it out - that's what's got a lot of
    people up here.'

    'You can't go to Texas Stadium and begin playing football on it,' Crissey said. 'You can't go into
    American Airlines Center and start playing hockey or shooting hoops. Here, you can simply take an
    afternoon class and be able to ride.'

    Frisco cycling club leaders said it will cost them about $98,000 a year to keep the Superdrome open.
    They're hoping to raise that money through sponsorships, events and more local participation.
     
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