October 19, 2011 (Milton, ON) – Milton’s town council is considering building a $45 million velodrome for the 2015 Pan American Games reports Inside Halton. This follows on the heels of last week’s decision by Hamilton City Council to cap that city’s financial contribution for a proposed velodrome there at only $5 million, effectively killing that project. The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is scrambling to find another town or city ready to host the velodrome and expects that city to contribute some $22 million toward project costs.
Milton Mayor Gord Krantz is quoted as saying that TO2015 contacted him and that he is interested. Krantz says that the 250m four-season velodrome project could fit nicely into the Milton Education Village (MEV) location, a 150-acre site at Derry and Tremaine Roads. TO2015 apparently needs a “shovel ready” site between five and six acres to be provided by January 31, 2013. If Pan Am organizers opt for a temporary facility, the Town is proposing the Derry Green Business Park or any existing vacant building in Milton. By coincidence, the MEV should also be shovel-ready by early 2013.
The obstacles again involve costs, with Krantz wanting to pay for the centre with private funding. That makes it impossible to meet the deadline of November 30 set by TO2015 to sign a binding agreement with a host municipality by November 30. It is unclear what will happen should this deadline be missed…
Another option is to build a temporary velodrome, but there the town’s commitment to the facility and to the sport is questionable. As described by Inside Halton, “When the Games are over, the track would be removed and the dome could be used for other indoor sports.”
Milton is located 40km west of downtown Toronto along Highway 401 and is part of the Halton Regional District. Its population is estimated at 88,000.
As an ironic aside to this story, another proposed velodrome is being debated half a world away in another city called Hamilton. A recent editorial in The Hamilton Spectator points out the ironic coincidences between Hamilton, New Zealand and Hamilton, Ontario and their respective velodrome projects.
National Cycling Centre Hamilton past Board of Directors President, Andrew Iler, commented on that editorial on FaceBook, noting among other things that:
– Hamilton Ontario’s Velodrome will a guaranteed commitment from the Pan Am Legacy for substantial continuing contributions for programs and ongoing operating costs. Hamilton NZ does not.
– Hamilton Ontario’s Velodrome has a financial commitment from the senior levels of government of almost 60% of the capital cost. Hamilton NZ does not.
– At the present time, Hamilton Ontario’s Velodrome will have ZERO impact on the municipal taxpayers, because the funds for our Hamilton’s contribution to the capital build are coming out of the Future Fund. Hamilton New Zealand’s City Council has approved a tax increase to pay for their share of the capital cost.
– New Zealand has a population of 4.4 million. Canada’s population is 34.6 million.
– New Zealand has 26 velodromes, including one already existing to international standard indoor velodrome.
– Canada has seven velodromes [Pedal counts eight] and no international standard indoor velodrome.