10 things to know about a future velodrome in Scottsdale

FASTER, a cycling performance center, plans to build a 250-meter outdoor, sun-shade covered velodrome in Scottsdale to be fully operational and open to the public by 2016.

Cyclist James Kramer, owner of FASTER, plans to pursue the idea, which will initially include capital from Kramer himself and then will be run in the form of a nonprofit. He hopes to have additional funding through membership from the local cycling community.

So is it really going to happen? We asked Kramer about it, and here are the top 10 things you need to know about the future FASTER Velodrome:

1. It’s as real as FASTER owner James Kramer’s intent is to build it.

“Currently, it is as real as someone who has the seed money, passion and drive to develop it, but true logistical plans have yet to start,” Kramer said. “I intend to be transitioned out of some responsibilities and able to focus on this venture in the spring of 2015.”

2. The seed money is there.

“FASTER, through me, already has the seed money for the project,” Kramer said. “The remainder will come after the business plan and a funding strategy is finalized.”

3. It will be like the outdoor velodrome in Encino, Calif. – 250 meters with approximately 35-degree banking.

4. The ideal location is in Scottsdale near Westworld and close to FASTER.

“…or somewhere off the Loop 101 between the State Route 51 and Pima Road, but completely dependent on options that present themselves,” Kramer said. “My hope is that if Westworld or a similar agency does not want to be involved, that preferably someone in the northeast valley has land appropriately zoned for this use and wants to be part of a cycling project with a true legacy.”

5. The velodrome probably won’t be multi-use and will only be used for cycling unless the landowner or other contributors have an additional vision.

6. Riders will have different cost options to use the velodrome.

“Prior to completion there will be opportunities for investors, sponsors, or individual cyclists to contribute in such a significant way that they will have lifetime free use,” Kramer said. “Then there will be other options to buy discounted annual use as well as daily use. It obviously has to do two things:  service the debt to build the facility and ongoing expenses, as well as be competitive enough price-wise to draw new people to the sport.”

7. Goals for the track are to grow cycling in Arizona and bring events to the facility.

“Arizona has an amazing and vibrant cycling community via both road cyclists and triathletes,” Kramer said. “Track cycling  was the most popular in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century, and yet Phoenix, as the sixth largest city in the U.S., does not have a velodrome.  My hope is to broaden Arizona’s cycling reach into track cycling and bring future events to the facility as well as help develop cycling.  Most vibrant cycling communities have weeknight criteriums or track races if they have a velodrome, and my vision is for Scottsdale to have the same.”

8. Arizona just needs a velodrome.

“It needs to be done and complements the vision of FASTER being the world’s most comprehensive cycling performance center,” Kramer said on why he wants to build it.

9. A few other investors have shown interest, but the project is in its infancy.

10. You can help by making connections.

“If anyone knows influential people in the valley that would want to be involved via investment or land donation, have them contact me,” Kramer said. “Otherwise, simply ‘like’ Faster Velodrome on Facebook and keep apprised of updates. There will be plenty of opportunities to be involved in the future.”

Kramer added that riders who have never tried track cycling should look into it.

“Ever ride a fixie?”  he said. “It’s a completely new way to experience riding a bike. Try it out, or search UCI World Track Cycling Championships on YouTube to get a feel for what track cycling is all about.”

Interested in helping build the velodrome? Contact Kramer at jkramer@ride-faster.com.

Sarah Muench