The Carolina Velodrome Association (CVA) announced Rock Hill, South Carolina as the preferred site for the concrete, 250 meter velodrome proposed by the group. The announcement comes after months of discussion between CVA founders and Rock Hill officials, including a site visit to the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, and consultations with USA Cycling.
"We are extremely pleased to finally go public with our progress," said Michael Cowan, a CVA co-founder with strong ties to the Rock Hill community. "Rock Hill is a perfect location for our proposed facility in terms of community support, easy access to major thoroughfares, and a favourable cost-of-living." USA Cycling officials agree. "We need [the velodrome] to be accessible to some regional centres. [Rock Hill] is right in the corridor here," said Pat McDonough, Director of Track Cycling for USA Cycling, the United States cycling governing body.
CVA co-founder Spencer Lueders noted that the velodrome will meet regulations for hosting national and international events. The velodrome will also feature a concrete infield, allowing the facility to host non-cycling events throughout the year, making it a truly multi-use facility that would be enjoyed by a large percentage of the community. "We will be able to run the facility year-round," said Lueders. "As the only regulation velodrome in the Southeast, that will be a huge benefit to the sport of track racing and to the community as a whole."
Gerard Bisceglia, CEO of USA Cycling, agreed that the proposed velodrome would fill a void in the Southeast. "You have a tremendous population base that is undeserved by this sport," said Bisceglia, who flew in from Colorado to help present the plan.
CVA, Rock Hill City Manager Carey Smith, and USA Cycling officials presented the plan to Rock Hill City Council on February 22 and received support from the City Council to assess site locations and create plans, conduct a third party economic impact study, and structure financing models. A final report is due in six months. Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols said, "This is an exciting and unique prospect for our community. It is the kind of distinctive sports tourism opportunity the Rock Hill is known for, and I look forward to hearing the City Manager’s report in the next six months." The velodrome has an estimated construction cost of $2.5 million, and CVA already has $500,000 in private funds for operations.