Just my notes to continue the conversation we were having at the licensing party. For anyone new to this, we were just talking about how fitting for this area it would be to have an indoor velodrome, and then how we might fit one in the Old Ralph. It may never happen, but I wanted to keep all the dream alive.
Please share your thoughts, but if you feel like shutting this down, try to think of it as an exercise in planning and contribute in a way that you think would be most helpful toward making this happen (in other words, grap a mop).Pros
* Pro for us: solid training through the winter.
* Pro for us: cycling team facility year-round.
* Pro for us: hosting track races means $$$.
* Pro for us: REAL solid recruitment tool.
* Pro for UND: REAL solid recruitment tool.
* Pro for UND: the only university in the country with its own indoor velodrome
* Pro for UND: they make $$$ off races too.
* Pro for UND: turn a detriment (Old Ralph going unused) into a positive (see all pros) without demolition.
* Pro for UND: rent the space out for other events (weddings, alumni parties, etc.) when no practice/races.
* Pro for Grand Forks: economic impact WIN.
* Pro for Grand Forks: another thing to do inside during the winter.
* Pro for Grand Forks: another choice of physical activity.
* Pro for Grand Forks: another sporting event to watch.Useful facts
* There are only two indoor wooden velodromes in the United States (Carson, California and Boulder, Colorado). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_velodromes#United_States_of_America
* There are also only two indoor velodromes in Canada (London, Ontario and Burnaby, British Columbia). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_velodromes#Canada
It might be useful to make a
Google map of all the velodrome locations
, just to see how many there really are
* 333 m is the standard length, but tracks can range from 250 - 500 m. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velodrome
* Did you know? The original plan was for the wonderful rust color. Fascinating. Also, here is a photo of the inside. http://siouxsports.com/hockey/history/oldengelstad.htmTo find out
Calculate (or look up somewhere) how much area is needed for a track of various sizes. How big a track could you fit in the Old Ralph, and how much seating could you have?
See below posts. It would be super tight.
* Business models for existing velodromes. Do they survive on public subsidy, or use fees, or are they rented out for other events in between track practice and race times?
* Cost. This is going to vary greatly, however I think that if we took the cost of an outdoor track
(if we can fit one in the Old Ralph),
it might be approximately the same (and maybe less, depending on how seating could be modified).
What is the condition of the inside of the Old Ralph? I can't imagine it's still pristine, I may have heard of them storing various equipment in there, even.
The Old Ralph could be a good fit if we had UND support and funding and a good business model (not saying we would be in charge of that, but the other half of having startup money, particularly from a benefactor, is having the ability to keep it up). This would be an uphill battle, unfortunately, for several reasons: cycling is not an NCAA sport, so UND doesn't even recognize that it exists; both EERC and Athletics are already fighting over the future of that land (after demolition of the building); public support at the outset might be less than nil.
The simplest alternative would be the Alerus center, but I doubt this happening because putting a track in that space, while possible, would just make it awkward to have other events. Adding on to the south side of the building would be awesome, but would add to construction costs (and they would be concerned about the loss of parking space).
The most likely alternative would be to build a new building somewhere, which would probably be outside town unless we got a really rich benefactor to buy more land along 42nd Ave (that land is notoriously overpriced, which is why developers have been avoiding it). Being away from UND would be a drawback, but depending on the community feel for the project, it could go over well. There are probably other possible locations in town,
the old Leevers, for example,
(that space is now being used) that might be large enough.