PLEASE NOTE: With snow and frigid temps in the forecast for Wednesday, the Velodrome ribbon cutting has been rescheduled to March 28.
Bicyclists, get ready! The Carrier Park Velodrome reopens this month.
The Carrier Park Velodrome improvements began in July and are now complete. To celebrate, the City of Asheville will host a ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. March 28 featuring local cyclists, members of the Carrier family and City Council.
The Carrier Park Velodrome Improvement Project incorporated multiple improvements, including:
- Re-grading and resurfacing of the track surface;
- Installation of new lighting for the track;
- Installation of new fencing;
- Clean-up of the outer wall and guardrail;
- Re-grading and shaping the interior edges of the track to blend with the other existing recreation activities and improve drainage;
Members of Asheville’s biking community have been out at the track, scoping it out during construction and taking laps as soon as it was paved and safe.
“The surface and structure is fantastic and we are extremely excited for the race season to begin,” said Jimm McElroy of VeloSports Racing. “We’ve also had people reach out to us from other states inquiring about the track’s opening, excited about the new surface and our events in 2018 as they’ve had followed the progress.”
The velodrome is on what used to be the Asheville Speedway race track, built in 1960 and in operation until 1999. Before it was a speedway, it was used as a horse race track! The park’s namesake, Edwin Carrier, built Carrier Race Track and Fair Grounds between the Sulphur Springs Railway and French Broad River around 1900.
So for more than a century, 32-acre Carrier Park has been a gathering spot for generations along the French Broad River. The City acquired the property in 1998. Now it’s Parks & Recreation’s largest park, used for roller hockey, lawn bowling, picnics, festivals and much more. With all that use, City staff has been working with City Council for opportunities to upgrade and improve this park. In 2016, the multi-use restroom building was renovated, and the basketball court and roller hockey rink were improved. The City added another sand volleyball court, due to popular demand, increasing our total to three courts. Additional improvements to the park are scheduled in the near future.
The budget for the Carrier Park Velodrome Safety Project was $1.3 million, paid for from the capital projects fund. For more information, visit the Carrier Park Improvements webpage on the City of Asheville website.