The World Cycling League (WCL) has announced its intentions to build a $20 million velodrome in Reading, Pennsylvania, on a seven-acre plot of land owned by Albright College.
This velodrome will seat 2,500 people and will be the first indoor cycling arena of it’s size on the East Coast as well as the second in the country behind the VELO Sports Center in Southern California. It will also serve as the World Cycling League’s global headquarters.
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“We couldn’t find a better public/private partnership than this to usher in a new, inclusive way of showcasing track cycling to the public and provide more opportunity for cyclists,” WCL’s CEO David Chauner said in a press release.
The President of the small, liberal arts college, Lex McMillian sees the velodrome as an opportunity to enhance student’s life by adding track cycling as a varsity club sport, creating internships opportunities and providing approximately 160 jobs in the community.
“We have been looking for unique things to set Albright apart and to support Reading community initiatives,” McMillan said. “We realized that having an international velodrome connected to the college would put Albright at the forefront of cycling development, enhance our community and become a unique recruiting tool for new students with an interest in cycling.”
Preliminary economic research indicates the velodrome will generate more than $30 million per year from 50,000 tourists.
A team of real estate investment specialists from Greenwich, Connecticut are managing the financing and expect to begin construction later this summer with the hope of finishing the velodrome in time for the start of the 2018-19 academic year. Locally based Burkey Construction Group has been awarded the bid to complete the project.
The goal is that the time frame will coincide with the WCL’s 2018 opening season and provide East Coast track cyclists with the opportunity to train close to home for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“Really worldwide, year-round, a lot of athletes will come here from all over the world to live and train and race,” said Chauner.