Construction on the new Oldsmar BMX Supercross track is expected to be finished in August.
If you’ve driven down Tampa Road recently, you probably noticed construction on Oldsmar’s BMX Supercross track is in full swing.
That’s because a 20-plus-foot high ramp now rises out of the middle of the Canal Park lot, which, when the $2 million renovation is completed, will be home to an Olympic-level BMX supercross facility.
City officials say that despite a few delays, work on the track is expected be finished sometime in August, in plenty of time for the big Gator Nationals event in October.
“The weather has caused us to get a little behind, but we’re going to make it by, I assume, sometime in late August,” Oldsmar Leisure Services Director Lynn Rives said.
“We’ve also got a couple issues with some walls that I’m having them redo, but other than that, it’s going pretty good.”
Artist rendering of the Oldsmar BMX Supercross track. Credit: STANTEC
When the project is completed, the two-tiered track will be one of a handful in the country that will be able to provide Olympic-level training for professional riders as well as a basic course for amateurs, too.
Rives said the combination of community accessibility and a track that draws competitors from all over the world will set Oldsmar’s facility apart.
“I think it’s going to be a good, no it’s going to be a great, thing for the city, the county and the state of Florida,” Rives said. “It’s going to run the whole gamut because it’s a one-of-a-kind track.”
One city official agrees wholeheartedly with Rives.
The new supercross track will feature a hill that’s more than 20 feet tall.
After stopping by to check the status of the track this week, Mayor Doug Bevis said he couldn’t be happier with the progress of the project.
“I don’t think any of us saw, ten or so years ago when we built this track, that it would get to the level it’s at now,” Bevis said via phone from the site.
“But everything has just really kind of fallen into place…and lo and behold, here it is.”
The mayor said the track will give Oldsmar the opportunity to “take things to a whole new level,” meaning it has the ability to bring in revenue for not just the City of Oldsmar, but the rest of Pinellas County, the Tampa Bay area and other parts of the state as well.
Indeed with riders and their families, plus fans, sponsors and others affiliated with the sport, flooding into the area from all over the globe for both the Gator Nationals as well as the finals of the USA BMX Supercross series, the track has the potential to provide a major economic boost for the region.
“Prior to us getting state funding for it, the tourism development council and the County Commission was prepared to fund the track because it does have such a big impact,” Bevis said of the project.
Work should be completed on the BMX Supercross track in August.
“Last year or the year before, when it (Nationals) was held in March, it was the biggest event, as far as putting heads in beds, in Pinellas County. So it’s great for the tourism industry.”
Both Bevis and Rives said with so many people coming from so many places – in 2014, visitors from 16 countries and 38 states attended the Gator Nationals – it’s hard to know just how much of an impact the track will have on the city and the area.
But they agreed they can’t wait to find out.
“I think the city is really excited about it, the council is really excited about it, and in the end I think it will be a positive addition not only to the sport, but to tourism for Pinellas County,” Rives said.
“I don’t think we even know,” Bevis said when asked to gauge the facility’s economic impact.
“We might think we know, but then when it opens we might be like, oh, look how many people are here!”