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Minnesota's only velodrome may close due to costly repairs

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Minnesota's only bicycle racing velodrome may be closing.

The National Sports Center's velodrome, which was built in 1990, needs roughly $60,000 in repairs before it can open for 2015. The National Sports Center Foundation is currently weighing if it should put money into fixing the facility, which only attracts a few thousand spectators a year, or close it up for good, according to the Pioneer Press.

Compared to other sports at the Blaine sports complex, the velodrome attracts very few people, but supporters of the sport say it has grown in popularity in recent years. The next closest velodrome track is in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the newspaper notes.

"If this track closes, it would be the end of velodrome racing in Minnesota at least in the short term," Tom McGoldrick, chairman of Friends of Velodrome Racing in Minnesota, told the Pioneer Press. "We don't want to let that happen."

The velodrome's wooden track, where cyclists speed around on fixed-gear bicycles without brakes, is in dire need of repairs and the Friends of Velodrome Racing in Minnesota is hoping to raise enough money to convince the National Sports Center Foundation that the track is worth saving, the group says. It's hoping to raise the needed $60,000 in the next five months through its GoFundMe campaign, among other fundraisers.

The National Sports Center Foundation board members are expected to talk about what to do next at their Dec. 18 meeting.

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