TULSA, Okla. — Tulsans got their first official glimpse of the new $23 million dollar USA BMX headquarters.
Mayor G.T. Bynum told the crowd gathered for the grand opening that that they get to be a part of history.
“For every person who’s here today,” he said, “for the rest of your life you’ll be able to say that you were here the day that the Greenwood District became the home of an Olympic sport.”
The state-of-the-art racing facility is located on 11 acres on the Evans-Fintube property in the Greenwood District and offers a recessed Olympic-level racing track.
There is an 8-meter high starting ramp for professional level racers, but there is also a 3-meter starting ramp for beginners and younger riders.
BMX officials and enthusiasts hope the arena will help to inspire the next generation of riders to get involved in the growing sport.
After Greenwood Rising Interim Executive Director Phil Armstrong sang the national anthem, athletes including professional racers and Olympians took to the starting ramps of USA BMX’s crown jewel, a $23 million dollar facility that features an outdoor free span arena with a roof and seating for 2,000 spectators.
The Hardesty National BMX Stadium has starting hills for both amateurs and professional riders.
USA BMX Chief Strategy Officer John David credits the City of Tulsa’s persistence with moving their headquarters to Tulsa.
“When the city leadership came to us and said we want you here, we knew that we can make a mark in our community and you can be a part of the fabric of who and what we are,” David explained, “we bought in.”
The new facility is also home to a Hall of Fame Museum on the ground floor.
The building will also be used for the BMX Foundation’s STEM programming and special programs for North Tulsa. Beginning later this year, the Foundation will launch a new program in the Greenwood District focusing on the empowerment and mentorship of at-risk-youth.
Olympic medalist Connor Fields, who has been coming to Tulsa since the age of nine to participate in the Grand Nationals Event every year, says BMX racing offers a lot of great life lessons.
“There’s so many things you can learn,” Fields said. “Whether it’s hard work, whether its sportsmanship, learning how to lose and be graceful in loss, things like that.”
A couple who owns a BMX track in Mayes County has high hopes for the next generation of riders the growing sport may inspire.
“USA BMX coming to Tulsa is huge,” the husband noted, “and being this big of a track, an Olympic training center, I’d love to see an Olympian come from Oklahoma, I mean, why not?”
The Vision Tulsa city sales tax approved by voters back in 2016 is funding more than half the project, along with an additional 6.5 million dollars from the city and 1.5 million Dollars from the Hardesty Family Foundation.
The site sits on 11 acres. The total investment for the headquarters was $23 million, and more than half the funding comes from the Vision Tulsa city sales tax that passed in 2016.
There’s a hall of fame on the first floor, and the Hardesty National BMX Stadium has seating for two thousand people.
The main arena has an 8-meter high starting ramp that professional and Olympic-level riders will use.
©2022 Cox Media Group