An indoor Velodrome could be coming to Greater Victoria

The Greater Victoria Velodrome Association (GVVA) is exploring having an indoor Velodrome built somewhere in the region.

The GVVA approached Saanich Council on Thursday, to propose a facility that would hold a new track.

David Attwell is a member of the GVVA Board of Directors, and is in charge of exploring the possibility of having a new track built in Greater Victoria.  He says an indoor Velodrome isn't financially feasible by itself, so they proposed something more like a community hub.

"Build the infrastructure of the Velodrome by building buildings around it, let's say around a piatsa or a plaza, which is a public space, and then putting a roof on it.  And then in that public space, you have a Velodrome and an infield that can be used for many other things, including court sports like basketball, volleyball, pickleball, badminton, and so on.  But you could also use it for convention space, and exhibitions, and concerts and so on."

He says in Europe there are Velodromes built with other amenities, which really benefits the community and the economy.

"Manchester Velodrome is attached to a shopping centre.  The Olympic Velodrome in London has a shopping centre very close.  So what happens when you have that kind of public space and that kind of facility, you drive traffic towards the shopping centre, but you also drive traffic from the shopping centre over towards the facility.  In Grenchen in Switzerland, there's a hotel attached to the Tissot Velodrome and that's perfect for people coming into town for the events that are taking place within the facility as well."

Attwell says the proposed multi-purpose track would benefit Cycling Canada, field hockey, junior golf, tennis, and other teams who are based in Victoria would be able to use the facilities.  He adds that if built to spec, the Velodrome could also be used to host top level competitions.

"If we build a Velodrome that is UCI compliant, that is the international governing body, then the potential for having world cup events, national events, and other international events here is very real."

However, he says 90 percent of the time, the facility would be used by the general public.

The GVVA is still looking for a space that the facility could be built, but Attwell says they'd like to build it in Saanich because they are in need of new venues and projects, and it could be easy to access for locals, cyclists, and visitors.  He adds that once they find a suitable location, they will start to gather the funding, which would be somewhere near $120-million.

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