Gilbert Pauses Plans for USA BMX “Epicenter”

USA BMX Epicenter

BMX News has reported previously on the quest by USA BMX to work with a host city to build a BMX “epicenter,” which would include a purpose-built headquarters building, relocation of the BMX Hall of Fame (currently in Chula Vista), athlete training facilities, and an under-roof track with dual SX/Amateur starting hills.

USA BMX put out a Request For Proposal (RFP) to prospective cities on March 2, 2013, asking for forward-thinking municipalities to make their pitch to bring jobs, community recreation and economic benefits of the facility to their city.

Among the cities who responded to the RFP was the current headquarters locale for USA BMX, Gilbert, AZ. Gilbert was serious about the project, and commissioned an Economic and Fiscal Impact study by a private firm to evaluate the potential on the local economy. That study arrived at the conclusion that the facility would have $1 Billion in economic impact over 30 years, when all forms of tax revenue, tourism, job creation and monies paid to utilities were considered.

The plan was to take 27 acres of town-owned land (once part of a local dairy farm), and create a facility similar to the concept-drawing above. This would include a 14,000 square foot headquarters office building, as well as an additional 12,000 sq ft structure for “Olympic Training Facilities,” and the BMX Hall of Fame.

The budget for the project was set at ~$20MM, with $3 Million coming from USA BMX, and $17MM coming from the Town of Gilbert (whether via a bond issue, or via reserve cash).

Two “Town Hall” meetings were held–the first on March 11, and again on April 8–for the public to pose their questions and give commentary to the Town Council prior to their voting on whether to approve the plan.

BMXers turned out in force at both meetings–the first had Sam Willoughby and Donny Robinson on hand for some Olympic flavor, as well as plenty of BMX jerseys in the crowd. Following that first meeting, there was a flurry of positive media on the project, with it hitting many of the local TV news channels and newspapers in “The Valley.”

The second meeting was held to provide the public an additional opportunity to voice their questions and concerns. By this time, opposition from the non-BMX public was growing–with close neighbors questioning the project on both noise and traffic grounds, and others going so far as creating a dedicated website to attempt to peck holes in the proposal and the economic study. One article was 2200 words in length, and another tried to call into question BMX Racing’s standing as an Olympic sport, with an article entitled “How long will BMX be an Olympic event?”

A “NO on BMX” email campaign to council members was organized and put into motion after the April 11 meeting, and by April 15, the media climate had turned from sunny to grey skies of uncertainty.

So much of the outcry was a classic “NIMBY” (Not In My Back Yard) response to any large project. People are all-for beautiful public facilities that keep youth off the streets and generate millions for the local economy–as long as they don’t have to hear it, see it, be inconvenienced by it in any way, or pay for it. One resident went so far as to say “We don’t have a youth problem in Gilbert.” Lots of places didn’t a youth problem 30 years ago either, until they stopped actively moving to deter one.

The “public-private partnership,” as it is known in municipal circles, is also a fairly new concept to an average-Joe or Jane citizen–and many voiced opposition to using taxpayer funds to build a facility that will largely benefit a private, for-profit, company. It happens all the time, of course, even right there in Gilbert, with several examples cited during the town hall meetings.

And there were many residents who did not quite understand what this project–or BMX, for that matter, actually was. One resident voiced concern about the “Supercross” component when, after doing a Google search, found AMA Supercross and was concerned about the noise from the motors at the USA BMX facility. That question was addressed at the meeting to give the woman voicing the concern more accurate information–that “these are bicycles. . .bicycles only.”

On March 17, the town of Gilbert issued the following update, via its website:

Given much appreciated resident feedback, the Town of Gilbert has decided to focus on other elements of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan before committing to the development of a USA BMX Supercross facility in Gilbert.

“The highest priority, at this time, for me as Mayor, is addressing the needs of our parks system in South Gilbert. Although a BMX facility is a part of the Master Plan, and would bring substantial recreational, economic and tourism benefits to the community, we believe there are other parks-related needs that require our attention first,” says Mayor John Lewis. “Once we have developed a more specific plan for South Gilbert, I’d welcome the opportunity to revisit this potential project.”

USA BMX COO, John David told NEWS:


The staff at USA BMX would like to thank the thousands of friends, families, Gilbert residents and businesses and BMX racers who support the Gilbert project. We are extremely humbled by the tremendous support we received including the dedication to attend the two open house presentations in person and the amazing support via phone and online. We simply could not have asked for anything better.

This remains to be great opportunity for Gilbert businesses and the youth and families of the community and we are confident that this still has the potential to be one of the greatest assets the community has developed. We will be meeting with the Town Mayor and Town Manager on Monday and once we have a better understanding of their proposed timeline, we will evaluate the best course of action for USA BMX.

Hopefully, the language in the Mayor’s statement leaves the door open for the town to actually revisit this exciting, and beneficial project at some point in the future. To us around the office, though, “welcoming the opportunity to revisit this potential project” has ringings of “No, Timmy. . .Rover went to a big farm where he can play all day with other dogs.”


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BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

BMX Supercross Back Today

2014 Manchester BMX Supercross

When BMX Supercross comes back on the proverbial air today at 4:30PM US Eastern Time, the Friday program will be a little different from previous years.

Gone are the days of everyone riding a time trial lap to see who qualifies into Saturday’s big show. New for 2014, the series has adopted a new system of qualifying that goes like this:

Top 16 in series points (or, in this case, top 16 finishers from last year) automatically transfer to Saturday’s race, but will race the “TimeTrial Superfinal,” as they did last year, for seeding and gate selection. That happens today, and will be the event we will see on the webcast.

For the other riders not in the top 16, their day will be spent racing three rounds of group motos (as opposed to how it used to go on Friday with one gate after another of single-rider time trial laps, lasting hours).

The top 48 men and 24 women from the moto qualifying will advance. Ties are broken by the time in the 3rd (2nd, 1st) qualification moto.

We like this method of motos for qualifying, because it is “more BMX-like,” plus does not count out one rider for haing a bad lap, after he traveled 4,000 miles to be there.

2014 Manchester SX Webcast Times

Thursday, April 17 – Dan’s Comp Practice Show
1:00PM – 1:30PM (Manchester Time)
9:00AM – 9:30AM (US Eastern Time)

Friday, April 18 – Time Trial Finals
9:30PM – 10:30PM (Manchester Time)
4:30PM – 5:30PM (US Eastern Time)

Saturday, April 19 – UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Race Day
8:30PM – 10:00PM (Manchester Time)
3:30PM – 5:00PM (US Eastern Time)

*Note: Due to changes to the program at the live event, these times may have some “flex” to them. We recommend logging in an hour earlier, and being prepared to stay an hour to 90 mins after published time, just to be sure.

Photo: Courtesy of @UCI_BMX_SX twitter feed.

Links

BMXLIVE.TV Manchester Page

VintageBMX.com “All Things Manchester SX” Thread



BMX News 2014 Race Coverage Sponsored by Dan’s Comp

BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Walgreens: 20 oz Bisquick for $1 through 04-19

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Mindy Kaling in Marie Claire: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Taking a break from the set of "The Mindy Project," Mindy Kaling shared a few of her favorite things, 20 to be exact, with Marie Claire magazine.

In the column, "The Office" actress reveals an album that makes her cry and what’s on her liquor shelf.

Check out a few of Mindy's answers below and head over to Marie Claire for all her answers!

What app can you not live without?
“Hopscotch, an awesome coding app for kids that I use, too.”

What TV show can’t you miss?
“The Walking Dead. I have a big crush on Rick, the ragged/rugged sheriff.”

What is on your liquor shelf?
“Mike’s Hard Lemonade Frozen.”

What is your favorite food?
“Australian red licorice.”

What makes your cry?
“Paul Simon’s Graceland album.”

What is the best advice you've been given?
"'Be kind.' Greg Daniels, my mentor from The Office, told me that."

What charities do you support?
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Volkswagen R400 Concept Sketches Reveal 395 HP Hot Hatch

VW-Golf-R400

Volkswagen is bringing a new concept car to Auto China in Beijing, teasing a sports car that goes well beyond anything the German brand has for sale right now. 

The R400 Concept is based on the Volkswagen Golf R, but this car uses a reworked version of the Golf R’s four-cylinder engine to make 395 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. All that power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which allows this concept to sprint to 60 mph from a stand still in just 3.9 seconds.

That is a full second faster than the Golf R, and it even beats out the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG by 0.7 seconds.

Volkswagen says that this concept may be previewing a limited-production model. More info will be released when the car is fully revealed in Beijing.

GALLERY: VW Golf R400

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 Discuss this story at our Volkswagen Forum

The post Volkswagen R400 Concept Sketches Reveal 395 HP Hot Hatch appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

Blake Griffin, Seth Green & Danielle Fishel Are Hilarious in “Space Jam” Read: Watch Here!

Funny or Die has a knack for taking the unexpected and making it comical, and last month a host of stars gathered for a live table read of the 1996 flick “Space Jam.”

As can be seen in the clip below, Seth Green, Blake Griffin, Danielle Fishel, Paul Scheer, Nick Kroll and Ben Schwartz had a blast with the project and it turned out fabulous.

Griffin launches in, “So, are we ready to go out there and have some fun?” Kroll fires back, “Ready to take it to the rack, Jack!”

Unfortunately, Funny or Die has only released nine minutes of footage, but stay linked to the GossipCenter for the full-length movie as soon as it’s released!




The Live Read of Space Jam with Blake Griffin from Seth Green

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Ariana Grande & Iggy Azalea: Gorgeous Dames for ELLE’s Women in Music Issue

They are two of music's most notable rising stars, so it's no surprise that Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea earned a spot in ELLE magazine's Women in Music issue.

While posing for Thomas Whiteside, the blonde beauty rocked a crystal embellished sleeves by Maison Martin Margiela and chatted about her strong voice. Meanwhile, Ariana posed for Kai Z Feng in Alexander Wang and chatted about always looking forward.

Check out highlights from Grande and Azalea's interview's below and for more head over to ELLE!

Ariana:
On always looking forward:
“If something great happens, I celebrate it for about—I’m not even kidding—a minute and a half. Then I start thinking about the next step.”

Iggy:
On being ready to drop the swagger after giving a voice to brash girls everywhere:
“I never dove into my personal experiences. I didn’t want to be vulnerable. I always felt like [rap] was escapism, but sometimes you can miss being human.”