By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
BMX track dedication Thursday
Anderson 209 BMX team rider Dalton Melvin gets some air on the double jumps at Manteca’s new BMX track that is being dedicated Thursday. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin
Manteca’s long-awaited BMX track is ready to go.

The joint private-public undertaking involving AKF Development, the City of Manteca, and Anderson 209 BMX at Spreckels Avenue at Moffat Boulevard is being dedicated this Thursday at 4 p.m. While there will be a demonstration by BMX riders, a more extensive event involving team members and riders from the general public on Saturday at 1 p.m., following the 2010 Manteca Senior Games BMX competition.

And while Anderson 209 - the non-profit organization overseeing maintenance and operations working in conjunction with the city - expects to have at least four major regional annual events at the complex, the group’s goal is to entice kids - young and old - to use the track.

“It has always been my vision to have more local use of the general public than anything else,” said Anderson.

That was the problem with securing insurance that partially delayed the opening. Most tracks that remain are isolated and locked off from the public only allowing American Bicycle Association sanctioned uses due to insurance concerns. The Manteca course is different in that aspect as well as the fact that it is located in a highly accessible location off the Tidewater and Spreckels bike paths to provide easy access for kids from various Manteca neighborhoods.

The track itself is already considered one of the best around. At least that’s what two-time national BMX champion Josh Oie says after testing the track.

Anderson noted that he’s been getting calls constantly from riders in nearby communities as well that are eager for the track to open. Riders run the gamut from kids to senior citizens.

“It’s a great thing to bring families together,” Anderson said.

He noted that there are often sons and daughters as well as parent from families that compete at events.

Thursday’s dedication that starts at 4 p.m. will include remarks by Mayor Willie Weatherford as well as the rest of the City Council that includes John Harris, Vince Hernandez, Debby Moorhead, and Steve DeBrum. Anderson will also speak. In addition to the demonstration, light refreshments will be served.

“We are encouraging people to come out Saturday that’s when the bigger event takes place plus we’d like to have people there to see the Senior Games competition,” Anderson said.

The 2010 Manteca Senior Games will open this year with a torch run that departs Del Webb at Union Ranch at 9 a.m. and will end up at the BMX track by about 10 a.m. The Senior Games will start shortly after the torch arrives.

About 1 p.m., other riders will get on the track. There will be some professional demonstrations as well.

Anderson indicated plans are to organize all comers’ competition for the general public. He also noted the track will be like any other city park. It will be open from dawn to dusk for general use unless an ABA competition is scheduled.

Mayor Weatherford noted the track give Manteca another recreational facility that serves local needs as well as attract out-of-town visitors.

The mayor pointed out that in the past four years Manteca has put in place several major recreation sport venues - Woodward Park with its eight soccer fields and lighted fields, the Big League Dreams sports complex complete with indoor soccer arena, as well as the BMX track.

“What you don’t hear about a lot is how BLD has freed up the Northgate softball complex so that it could be taken over by girls softball,” Weatherford said.

The BMX course is 1,200 feet long with three 180 degree banked turns. It also various jumps on the course and one rhythm section. It conforms to ABA design standards.

Positive impacts
on Manteca economy
The Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau used data collected from the Roseville BMX and Portland, Ore. BMX complexes, applied California tourism economic multipliers, and then reduced that amount somewhat to be conservative and came up with the following possible impacts:

•A national event at the BMX course with 1,200 riders over three days plus parents, siblings, and friends with an average of two people per rider would translate into 10,800 attendees. That would pump about $660,000 into the Manteca economy through hotel rooms, restaurants, gas sales, diversions such as the Manteca Bowl, and other shopping.

•A state finals tournament with 450 riders per day over three days plus parents, siblings, and friends with an average of two per rider would translate into 4,050 attendees. It would have a potential to being $274,500 into the Manteca economy.

•A regional race with 200 riders per day over two days plus parents, siblings, and friends with an average of two per rider would translate into 600 attendees. That would pump $92,000 into Manteca businesses.

CVB Executive Director Linda Abeldt has noted that the BMX track has the potential of being a major draw just like the Big League Dreams sports complex is today.

The CVB works at bringing tournaments to the Big League Dreams sports complex. Teams then book in local hotels by more often than not going through the BLD website.

The CVB intends to do the same thing with the BMX course.

Anderson is part of the CVB’s sports commission as are BLD representatives.