Posted by Editoress on 01/31/12
Last night, the Milton Town Council voted 9 to 2 in support of hosting the velodrome for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Milton was late to the bidding process for the velodrome, after the original host city of Hamilton voted down the proposal to increase their commitment past a cap of $5 million, last Fall. In roughly two months, Milton staff and consultants produced a business plan for the estimated $45 million facility that was presented to the community, cycling groups and then voted on by Council. The proposal is for a UCI-homologated (accredited) Category 1 facility - a 250 metre track that is capable of hosting international events up to and including a world championship, with permanent seating for 1500 and additional temporary seating for another 750 spectators.
CCA CEO Greg Mathieu commented in an e-mail: "“The approval of Milton’s Town Council for that community to become the host for the velodrome is extraordinary news for Canadian cycling. The goal of having a permanent home for track cycling in Canada through this legacy of the 2015 Pan American Games can now be attained. Ontario’s fastest growing community will become renowned as the Cycling Capital of Canada. The Canadian Cycling Association looks forward to working with the Town of Milton, Toronto2015 and other stakeholders in the development of this significant facility for Milton and for cycling.”"
Under the agreement, Milton would be responsible for 44% of the cost of the velodrome, estimated to be $17.6 million, however, much of that has already been offset by funds from various sources (detailed below). The total capital contribution by the town is estimated to be between $3.45 million and $6.25 million.
The proposal received an early boost, when cycling supporter Peter Gilgan of Mattamy Homes offered a $7 million donation, plus an additional $2 million for naming rights. Milton staff also pointed out that $3.8 million of their local commitment will come from a developers fund already in existence for building recreational facilities. That money must be spent on recreational facilities, or returned to developers. In addition, a proposed satellite campus for Wilfred Laurier University will contribute an estimated $2.5 million to the project - this funding, however, is contingent upon the satellite campus being approved by the provincial government. Milton will also organize a fundraising campaign.
The business plan also looked into the ongoing operating costs of the facility, post-Pan Am Games. Of course, these are estimates at this point, but are projected to be between $220,000 and $330,000 per year. A significant proportion of these costs will be offset by the Pan Am Legacy Fund - the velodrome is one of three legacy projects from the Games to receive ongong annual support after the Games. The report noted that the estimated operating costs are within the expected operation costs of any similar recreational facility the town would have to build.
One of the outcomes emphasized in the report was that this will be a multi-use facility, offering space for a running track, badminton, volleyball, basketball, concerts, etc. The report noted that the velodrome would offer roughly 50% more space for non-cycling activities than would other projects currently under consideration. While this is an important issue for the local residents, the report did emphasize that much of the track time would be consummed by elite athletes, including a national team training centre and the potential for international events. The report also estimates that the positive economic benefit from the velodrome on an annual basis will be in the range of $2.9 million for visitor spending.
Rob Good, founder of the Forest City Velodrome in London, Ontario, commented: "This news is great for Canadian track cycling. In the next two years we will be able to train and race in a facility that will bring out the very best in all of our athletes. The hard work is just beginning, there will need to be support from all regions of Canada to make this facility function sucessfully. It will be exciting over the next five years to witness the growth in track cycling. It's refreshing to see the vision Milton has for their future, Milton will become the hub for cycling in Canada."
The full report (9 Mb) can be found Here.
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