By: Heather Nielson
Since Dean Alleger started his aggressive campaign to get a velodrome built in the Sacramento area, he has often been asked what kind of velodrome it’s going to be: Velodromes can be indoor or outdoor. The advantage of having an outdoor one, like the Hellyer Park Velodrome located in San Jose California, is its’ lower cost of maintenance. Indoor velodromes like the Home Depot Center Velodrome in Carson California, require exorbitant funds for climate control. One estimation puts its’ monthly climate control costs at $30,000. The disadvantage of having an outdoor track is of course exposure to the environment. Since it’s not being climate controlled, the materials that it’s constructed out of need to meet more robust standards. Additionally, when making the decision about whether to build a track outdoor or indoor, the local yearly weather averages need to be considered. A track made out of soft pinewood would not only be too soft and are known to break easily but will also be more susceptible to weathering. Bloomer Park Velodrome in Detroit Michigan is made out of marine-grade plywood and is 10 years old (construction was completed in 2002) and is still in good shape. Another outdoor track, the SUPERDROME in Frisco Texas, sees the opposite extreme in weather as Michigan. Even so, the heat index in Frisco Texas is much higher than Sacramento and their track requires yearly maintenance that includes board replacement. Alleger believes that the marine-grade plywood is more than suitable for the Northern California weather averages as well as its’ extremes. The undercarriage would be made out of steel. The builder that Alleger would like to employ, Dale Hughes built the Bloomer Park Velodrome as well as the track for the Atlanta games in 1996.
Even with the lower cost of building an outdoor track compared to an indoor one, the most financially viable way to realize Dean’s vision is to set its’ construction up into phases. Approximately a million dollars in funds would include the track, tunnel, grand stands for 1,000 and lights. That initial price would be even lower if more local construction and manufacturing companies generously contributed. Alleger is confident however that even under a communal effort, the quality of the velodrome would not be compromised as Dale would oversee its’ entire construction process. Dale’s manufacturing history is so impressive that he’s confident that this first phase would be completed in about 120 days.
This coming Sunday night the 19th will be the final in a series of Savage Sprints for the 2011-2012 season. It’s the second year that Dean has held these sprints in an effort to build awareness, excitement and funds in campaigning for the velodrome.
Alleger stated on Thursday February 16, 2012:
‘This Sunday will be the final event in the current set-up of the Savage Sprints. Our non-profit should be finalized in the next week or two and it’s time to move toward bigger and better ways to gain awareness and support for the velodrome project. Savage Sprints is getting dismantled and sold off starting Monday. It’s time to identify the fast and fearless and take it to the streets! Thanks to all that have shown an interest and contributed to our effort. Don’t miss out on the final episode, it promises to be a barn burner!’