On April 5, 2016, Tulsans overwhelmingly passed Vision Tulsa, which included $15 million for the construction of a National Track Stadium and USA BMX National Headquarters. On April 6, the American Bicycle Association and USA BMX formally announced their plans to move to Tulsa, bringing more than 50 jobs and $10 million in additional economic impact to northeast Oklahoma.
Bicycle Motocross racing has deep roots in Oklahoma. The Tulsa County Expo Center and Fairgrounds have hosted the largest BMX races ever held. Annually, the USA BMX Grand National is held over Thanksgiving weekend and it continues to grow every year. While the Grand National will remain a fixture in Tulsa, voters have now paved the way for Tulsa to become the epicenter of BMX racing.
"The passage of Vision Tulsa is not only a huge leap forward for Tulsa, but for the strong partnership between the American Bicycle Association, USA BMX and our community," said Ray Hoyt, President, VisitTulsa, Tulsa Sports Commission and The Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture. "Their announcement today delivers on the promise made to voters in Vision Tulsa, and is a key first step in our efforts to bring more visitors and large-scale events to northeast Oklahoma. We couldn't be more excited to welcome this phenomenal organization and its employees to our hometown."
The plans for the new National Track Stadium and USA BMX National Headquarters include a training center for Bicycle Motocross (BMX) athletes and office space for the USA BMX national headquarters at the former Drillers Stadium. It develops a key portion of Expo Square that has been underutilized for many years.
"We are thrilled to make our new home in Tulsa," said Bernard Anderson, CEO of USA BMX. "We have always had a very good relationship with the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County and look forward to making this project a reality. With the passage of Vision Tulsa, planning for the new headquarters will now begin in earnest. " continued Anderson.
Many of the concept drawings, plans, and ideas were developed prior to passage of Vision Tulsa. Now those concepts will be turned into construction plans and timelines as the next phase of the project begins. While the site has been determined, there is still a lot of work to do before USA BMX moves its operation to Tulsa. In the meantime, operations will continue as normal and the staff will set its sites on Thanksgiving weekend.
"The first phase was obviously passage of Vision Tulsa," said Anderson. "Now we will work with the City and County to begin taking our next steps."
"The Tulsa Sports Commission would like to thank all the organizations, businesses, volunteers and Tulsa residents that made this monumental passage of economic development possible for our community," said Vince Trinidad, Executive Director, Tulsa Sports Commission. "Our top project now possible will be the relocation of USA BMX's headquarters to Tulsa. This transformative moment will further solidify our community as the epicenter for the BMX cycling nationally and internationally. We look forward to many great events coming to Tulsa to showing how sports tourism can leave a lasting legacy for not only for the thousands of sports visitors that attend our events, but our community and our citizens."