President of USA BMX. “It’s surreal that we are finally cutting the ribbon on what is a dream come true for so many of us. I am grateful for our team and all of our partners who helped make this a reality.”
Funded by voters through their approval of Vision Tulsa in 2016, the City of Tulsa and USA BMX broke ground in 2019 on the headquarters, which includes the Hall of Fame, the USA BMX Foundation, and the Hardesty National Track Stadium containing both an Olympic-caliber and amateur track.
USA BMX was founded in 1977 as the American Bicycle Association headquartered in Chandler, Arizona. The headquarters will now be based at the new Tulsa facility. USA BMX organizes BMX racing for boys, girls and adults throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. There are four companies underneath the USA BMX umbrella: BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle (for Amateur riders), BMX Foundation and ABA ETHOS.
“Throughout the years, the sport of BMX has seen significant growth,” said B.A. Anderson, CEO of USA BMX. “In fact, we are the single largest promoter of action sports in the country, with over 50,000 active members and 320 racing facilities in 49 states. We’ve held our Grand Nationals Event in Tulsa every year since 1998 and coming here always feels like home. Because of our ties to Tulsa, we knew this was the right place to move our headquarters to take USA BMX to the next level.”
The site is located on 11 acres on the historic Evans-Fintube property in the Greenwood District. The total investment for the headquarters was $23 million: $15 million allocated from Vision 2025 to relocate USA BMX headquarters from Arizona; $6.5 million from the Tulsa Parking Authority and the City of Tulsa; and $1.5 million from the Hardesty Family Foundation.
“On behalf of the City of Tulsa, I am enthusiastic to welcome the USA BMX Headquarters with the Hardesty National BMX Stadium to our city and the Greenwood District,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “This project was made possible through Tulsa voters approving Vision Tulsa, and a partnership with the Hardesty Family Foundation and the Tulsa Sports Commission. This is a successful transformation of a former brownfield site to the national headquarters of an exciting and growing sport.”
After 26 months of construction, the national headquarters is finished and will begin hosting races as early as next month.
“Nabholz Construction, Todd Architecture, Wallace Engineering and the City of Tulsa have worked together to design and build the world’s most complete and advanced BMX facility,” said Fernandez. “We cannot wait to show this incredible space to the public.”
The headquarters building features a two-story, 25,000 square foot long-span steel structure. The Hall of Fame is located on the ground floor. The building also includes office space, training and conference rooms, a gym, locker rooms, concessions and a catering kitchen. The building will also be used for the BMX Foundation’s STEM programming and special programs for North Tulsa. Beginning later this year, the Foundation will launch a new program in the Greenwood District focusing on the engagement, empowerment and mentorship of at-risk-youth.
The Hardesty National BMX Stadium features an outdoor free-span arena with roof and seating for 2,000 spectators. The arena is three stories tall, a football field and a half long and a football field wide. The recessed Olympic-quality racing track has starting hills for both amateur and professional riders. The arena will also host weekly local races and practices, coaching clinics, elite training camps and as many as five national or World Cup events annually. The arena will host its first national race, the Legacy Nationals, in May.
Within the first five years, officials project USA BMX will attract over 100,000 visitors and generate more than 100 local, state, national and international events in the heart of downtown.
“The facility programming and events alone will attract thousands of new visitors to the area which will generate millions in economic impact,” said Ashleigh Bachert, Interim Senior Vice President of Regional Tourism. “We have worked with USA BMX for so long now, it already feels like they were a Tulsa-based organization before today. Watching the progression of this facility become a reality has been such a labor of love for so many at USA BMX and in Tulsa,”
“Even before we opened the headquarters, 2021 will go down as the largest and most successful year in the history of BMX,” said Fernandez. “Racing hit the highest participation levels with the highest membership base ever, our new freestyle program doubled in size in its second year, and we just added a diverse and dynamic team of ten (including two pro riders) to our new headquarters, all of whom share our vision of continuing to grow this sport we all love. We could not be more excited for this next chapter of USA BMX.”
Pics by Shannon Gillette / USABMX