This artistic rendering shows what the interior of a proposed velodrome near Uptown could look like. (Greater Victoria Velodrome Association).

Multiple Saanich sites considered for velodrome proposal

Cycling community would benefit from covered velodrome

The potential that comes with a new velodrome goes far beyond creating competitive track cyclists, says project leader David Attwell.

Firstly, Uptown site isn’t the only site, there are quite a few – mostly in Saanich – and that’s because Saanich has shown an interest in adding a hotel to the region. The velodrome proposal, which Attwell presented to the Saanich Planning, Transportation and Economic Development Advisory Committee this week, is a combination of recreational facility, indoor velodrome, and a hotel.

READ ALSO: Saanich committee hears plans for velodrome project

Attwell is an avid cyclist who’s studied multiple examples of newly built velodromes in England and Europe that all include a recreational facility and either a hotel or are adjacent to a shopping mall.

“In England, the foot traffic to the velodrome benefits the mall,” he said.

And that’s why Uptown, University Heights, Tillicum centre, Cedar Hill and Gordon Head/Lambrick are all possible sites. The key is private-public partnerships.

“We know Saanich doesn’t have a capital budget to do this stuff,” Attwell said. “One model is that the private sector can build it, and either lease it back to the city or run it as a facility.”

Drawing people to the facility once its built isn’t something to worry about, he said.

The problem with the Westshore Velodrome is it’s limited in use to four months per year, May to August, with some usability in September (the concrete is highly dangerous with any moisture). Not only that, but Victoria’s road racing and bike tourism schedules swell in the summer and die in the winter.

Track cycling, however, is a winter sport and events in the velodrome facility, having a hotel there and hosting conferences, conventions, concerts in the facility would draw people to Victoria in the winter.

“You can fit five basketball courts inside a velodrome, and we know we’ve got 1,500 athletes in the night basketball league who had troubles getting courts this year and the same goes for night volleyball, with 1,000, people,” Attwell said. “With a net, the centre court can be used at the same time as cycling.”

If people need proof that velodromes work, in Milton they didn’t know if they’d fill it up, in fact, they have 9,500 certified riders registered at Milton and 330,000 annual visits to the track, not including the inside field for basketball and volleyball.

“We have a strong cycling community in Victoria, a school, a lot of users ready to step in,” Attwell said.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Life-Altering experience

Six weeks that served to change their view of the world

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

UPDATE: Father on trial for murder describes being ‘tackled’ and ‘stabbed’ in Oak Bay apartment

Oak Bay father takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Province rejects criticism from Saanich councillor over McKenzie Interchange

Transportation ministry says project will ‘significantly lower’ greenhouse gas emissions

Community helps fund dreams through Moms and Mentors

West Shore society helps women face the challenges of motherhood

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

Most Read