The owners of the Boulder Valley Velodrome have quietly announced that the facility is likely to close at the end of this year. Despite being internationally recognized as a one-of-a-kind high-altitude, 250 meter venue, it appears that the “Field of Dreams” vision of owners Frank Banta and Doug Emerson is about to come to an end.
As VeloNews reported a year ago, the Velodrome had to suffer through a number of natural disasters in the course of its construction, including a 500-year flood and a rare Colorado tornado, creating unexpected financial burdens on the owners from the very beginning. Although the facility has been up and running successfully now for several years, those financial strains created during the construction period forced the owners to put the facility up for sale for the last year. And despite several interested lookers, no one stepped up to acquire and maintain the velodrome.
The popular facility has supported not only a wealth of local track enthusiasts during its five-year run. It has also provided a training home for several world champion track racers, and numerous national track teams, including the Dutch, Canadian and Australians Olympic teams.
But co-owner Emerson has told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News that the velodrome site in Erie, Colorado has gone under a sales contract with a buyer which will close in January. Unfortunately, that new buyer, who remains undisclosed, plans to tear down the velodrome so as to utilize the 4-acre property for other purposes. Emerson is hopeful that – once the cycling community is aware that the velodrome is about to close – perhaps a new owner or group of owners will step up to preserve it.
Emerson was able to negotiate what he called a “Hail Mary” clause in the sale agreement, which allows the facility to be sold, and retained as a velodrome, up until December 15 of this year. If no new buyers commit by that time, it appears that the velodrome will be lost.
As the owners said in the earlier story, “Almost every metropolitan area in the country has looked at trying to build a velodrome — ours is done, we’re riding it every day. We followed our passion, we persevered through some pretty epic setbacks, but we got the ball across the goal line.” The heavy lifting is done, and Emerson and Banta are hoping that they can find someone in the next two months to allow their velodrome dream to have a happy ending.