Minnesota's only velodrome will stay closed unless $75K is found

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Minnesota's only velodrome will remain closed for now and is likely to stay that way unless another source of funding can be found to repair the aging structure.

A proposal to fund repairs to the velodrome in Blaine was voted down by the board of directors that oversees the National Sports Center Thursday night, the Pioneer Press reports.

However the newspaper reports there remains hope that the closure won't be permanent, with board members suggesting the track could be saved if an outside funding source can be found to pay for the $75,000 of repairs the track needs.

The track, which opened in 1990, does not attract many visitors or competitors, though supporters of track cycling say that interest has increased in recent years. If closed, the nearest velodrome would be in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

According to the Star Tribune, $75,000 would keep the velodrome's track racing program going for between four to six years, after which the track – which only had an initial lifespan of 20 years – would be decommissioned.

But the Business Journal notes that any attempts to secure the funding will be up against competition from the group behind the MN Cycling Center, which is looking to build an indoor velodrome in Northeast Minneapolis.

Tom McGoldrick, chairman of the Friends of Velodrome Racing in Minnesota, said after last night's meeting that the Blaine center could remain open, though admits it is a tough ask.

"I would say there is still an opportunity to save it, but now we have less time to raise more money," he told the Pioneer Press.

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