National BMX Headquarters To Make Tulsa Center For Extreme Cycling
TULSA, Oklahoma - A huge project just started Friday for a new National BMX Headquarters in Tulsa.
It'll be built in the historic Greenwood neighborhood.
As part of this project, the more than 100-year-old Oklahoma Iron Works Building will be rehabilitated. It used to be the largest manufacturing facility in Tulsa and will soon be the new home for USA BMX.
Tulsa city leaders and USA BMX members broke ground November 15 on a new facility near downtown. The more than 22 acres of land is in the historic Greenwood District, right next to the IDL.
Oklahoma BMX Hall of Fame Inductee Cash Matthews says this is the moment he's been waiting for.
"It's amazing. Six years ago this endeavour was just an idea, and today as we turn dirt I am honestly the most excited I've been about the sport of BMX as ever right now," Matthews said.
In just a couple years, crews hope to finish the new national headquarters, an Olympic-caliber and amateur track, and a hall of fame museum.
It's part of the 'Vision Tulsa' sales tax package that Tulsans okay'd three years ago. The city expects more than 100,000 visitors to stop through here in the first five years.
Phil Davis and his BMX team will be among them.
"I was ecstatic when they voted this in, and I've just been stalking this place, waiting to see some kind of movement happening," Davis said.
Davis started racing in the 80s. Now, his team of nearly two dozen race out of Sand Springs and other spots in Oklahoma.
"It is the family sport. It's not one of, it is the family sport," Davis said.
Mayor G.T. Bynum and city councilors say they hope families like Davis' gravitate toward the new center when it's finished. And fans of the sport, like Davis and Matthews, say this will only bolster Tulsa's importance to extreme cycling.
"This can be a center-point for what we need to do to build a better community. Tulsa is the greatest place on Earth, and we just made it better," Matthews said.
The City of Tulsa says the BMX events here could bring in as much as $11 million to the city in its first five years.