New Velodrome facility gives fresh look to old-time sport

DETROIT (WXYZ) - When the original six venues like Olympia Stadium were built, they were all designed to host hockey, boxing and indoor bike racing.

Once one of America’s premier sports, it faded into the history books around World War II, but thanks to an inspired unnamed donor, Detroit continues its comeback with yet another niche facility. 

“He said he wanted to build a Velodrome, I asked him where he wanted to build it, he said Detroit and I said I’m from Detroit, and he said well so am I,” executive director of the Detroit Fitness Foundation Dale Hughes said of his private Detroit donor.

“His goal was to give something unique, something that had history with Detroit, with the goal of giving some opportunity to kids of Detroit to achieve things that they never thought they could achieve,” Hughes added. 

The 4.5 million dollar Lexus Velodrome is only the third indoor track of its kind in the country, and its going to open up doors for youth in the city.

Open races will give people a chance to spice up a night out with a different venue, while during the day, the facility will be crammed with bikers young and old, who feel the need for speed.

“Our youngest rider has been 8 years-old and our oldest has been 85, the most exciting thing for me is to see the person who is looking at it very cautiously, if they listen to what we teach them in 'Class 101' and go through the directions that we give, when they get off the track they’re really exhilarated,” Hughes said. 

The Velodrome opens to the public Monday, January 29th.

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