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A short history of The Velodrome at Bloomer Park 
by: Leonardo Gianola 

The last year that the Detroit area had a functioning velodrome was 1986. The Dorais Velodrome was constructed through the efforts of the coach of the Wolverine Sports Club, Mike Walden. In June of 1997, I asked Dale Hughes what it would take for him to attempt to build a velodrome here in the Detroit area. Dale had already built a 133 meter board track, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Velodrome, and designed others. He has subsequently built the Asian Games Velodrome in Seoul, Korea, the EDS Superdrome and in the Middle East and China.

Leonardo and Bill Opening Night His response to my question was "get pledges for $100,000 and I will see what I can do". My parameters were that the money had to come from private individuals and clubs and I had a time window of two years. If I got the money all from one place, it would not show commitment from the bicycling community, hence, the requirement.

I thought he was nuts as 100 grand is a lot of cake to bake, but I decided that it was an opportunity not to be missed. Also, I felt that a project can have too much time. I decided that I would have an answer at out club's banquet five and a half months away.

So, I went to work soliciting pledges from everyone that I knew, went to bike club's meetings, and became an all around general pain on local bike rides.

We offered that for a pledge of $1,000 we would have a plaque with everyone's name on it affixed to the track. That and a track to ride was all we were offering. At the October banquet we had commitment for $104,000.

Dale and his wife Christine started the process of trying to find a place to construct the velodrome. That took two years. After we got a site commitment from the City of Rochester Hills, I started to call in the pledges.Dale Hughes - May 2002

Rochester Hills has a community foundation that accepts tax deductible donations for projects like ours. So, we were able to have people donate their money and get a tax write off. Also, it gave us instant creditability, as we were not handling the money directly.

At the end of 2000 we had enough money in to start and we began digging the foundation. In 2001, Dale and the local cycling community built it start to finish.

What you see today are the continuing volunteer efforts of the local cycling community, the progressive thinking of the city of Rochester Hills, and a fitting monument to a great man, Mike Walden.


      The tunnel was made possible by a generous gift from DALMAC

 

 

 

2007 - 2008 The Velodrome at Bloomer Park
Last Modified: April 28, 2008 18:41 EDT
Contact: Bruce Carlson
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