Sarasota News Leader

08/30/2013

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Sarasota News Leader August 30, 2013 Page 48 "And I think this may be part of that [discus- • "All of the labor to run the track comes from volunteers." sion]," Patterson added. If so, she continued, that would provide be- • There are only six permanent supercross tracks in the world and only one in the U.S. tween $300,000 and $400,000 per year that (The upgrades at the Sarasota facility would could go to the BMX project. "That's not going make it a supercross track.) to get you there, but it gets you closer than needing the full million [dollars]," she told • Sarasota BMX hosts at least one state race Barbetta. annually and it will host the 2014 State Championship. "I can support the project," Patterson added. "It's hard to resist when these kids come in • Sarasota BMX has a verbal commitment front of you." from the national USA BMX organization saying it will hold a national race here every Two children were among the public speakers year should the track be built on Aug. 27 who pleaded for the upgrades of the BMX track. • Professional BMXers and Olympians will move to Sarasota so they can train at the Another speaker who addressed the board track. that day was Jeff Leto, vice president of Sarasota BMX. On Aug. 10, he sent the commis- "I'm going to support this because if [the monsioners an email with the following facts: ey] can come from TDT, I'll be OK with that," Robinson said, cautioning that if that did not • A Sarasota supercross track will conservaprove to be the case, she would not guarantee tively generate more than $2.7 million anher "Yes" vote on the formal approval of the nually for the county's economy. project. • Sarasota BMX has a written commitment "I would prefer to see it come from TDT funds from the U.S. Olympic cyclist governing also," Vice Chairman Charles Hines said. body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), Nonetheless, he pointed out, "The park's alto host at least three supercross races over ready there; we're adding a very important the next three years should the track be piece to it." built. Barbetta already had explained that if the • "Sarasota BMX was found in 1974 by volun- board did not act this week, a BMX track teers and has been operating on the same builder was working on an offer to construct county property since its inception." a facility between Daytona and Orlando. • Over 98 percent of the cost to operate the "There is an urgency factor," Hines noted. "I track comes from state and national races think this will become a really big deal in our and local members. community." %

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