Tracks

Start a Track FAQ

We are here to guide you -  The idea to start a track can be overwhelming. The most important resource you have is us - call us, email us, get in touch with us.

Below is an ever evolving FAQ section to many common questions people ask when they want to start a track.  

Please do not let the FAQ's overwhelm or dissuade you as every situation is unique and we may have an even better answer for you!


GENERAL BMX RACING QUESTIONS

Q. What is BMX Racing and who is USA BMX?

A. In short, BMX Racing is a short bicycle race on a dirt track with jumps and turns similar to motocross racing.  BMX racing happens across the entire age spectrum and all skill levels. Many families are able to utilize BMX as a sport everyone can participate in.  

USA BMX is the National Sanctioning Body of BMX Racing, providing member tracks with insurance, points tracking programs, rider memberships and governing rules.  USA BMX also administers state, regional and national level series.

For in depth information on BMX Racing and USA BMX, please follow this link: https://www.usabmx.com/site/sections/3


Q. What is a Track Education Liaison?

A. A Track Education Liaison is the person at your track (or on your track team, if you do not yet have a track) that works with the USA BMX Foundation to connect our educational programs with your local school district.

The Education Liaison should be the first position you create, because we are able to bring education programs into your school district almost as fast as we can set up meetings.  Having USA BMX educational programing in your schools will help push the creation of a new track facility in your community much faster.

Your appointed Education Liaison should already have connections in your school districts and they must apply for the position through the USA BMX Foundation.

It is important to discuss how this process will move forward with the New Track Development Department before proceeding with this.


Q. What is the USA BMX Foundation?

A. The USA BMX Foundation is a fully non-profit organization focusing on educational and community programs that not only form a bond between the local BMX track and school district, but is able to provide STEM accredited BMX based programs to schools where there is no actual BMX track.  

The USA BMX Foundation also spearheads the fundraising efforts for both the Bob Warnicke College Scholarship Program and the Race for Life events that benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

The USA BMX Foundation is one of the absolute greatest tools for new and current tracks to utilize.

To learn more about the USA BMX Foundation please visit their website at: www.usabmxfoundation.org 


Q. How is a BMX race track started?

A. There are many different reasons for starting a track, and the process will differ slightly with each unique project.  If we had to put it in three easy steps to get started they would be:

  1. Read the entire FAQ Page.  We cannot emphasize this enough, education on all things related to creating a facility and program will help you create a game plan and be sure you are following the correct path.

  2. Review the New Track Flowchart to have an idea of where we are headed together once this gets started.

  3. Send an email to: newtracks@usabmx.com to receive an online form and schedule your first consultation call with our New Track Development department.  Be ready to do some basic local research to fill out the form.


Q. Is BMX racing growing?

A. Yes, BMX racing is growing and a recent study performed by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association reports it as the fastest growing sport in America.  Download this three page, easy-to-read, report here: https://www.usabmx.com/site/file_downloads/150


Q. What does USA BMX provide?

A. At the beginning USA BMX will provide:

  • Guidance

  • Professional connections

  • Assistance with presentations

  • Site visits and in person meetings if needed

  • Community Integration packaging

    • BMX Racing League

    • USA BMX Foundation Educational Programing at your local school district

As the track project becomes a reality, we are able to guide individuals or cities with architects, drawings and there are even grants available that can offset the cost of having a USA BMX track builder, build your track.

Once the track is built, USA BMX provides:

  • Race Program Management Software

  • Local, District, Regional and National Points Tracking Integration

  • Full service website for your track that is integrated with points and scheduling databases

  • Liability Insurance

  • Print Marketing materials at no cost to the track

  • Digital Marketing materials with guidance for online promotions

  • Staff support 7 days a week.  


Q. Can I start/run a BMX track on my own?

A. Yes…. And not really.  Yes, any individual can fund the building of a BMX track on private land, however just like any business or even youth program, running a BMX track takes a team and the more positive people there are on your team, the more success your BMX track will see.  At the beginning stages of development, three people is a good goal to start with, but you will want to grow that team as fast as possible. Those three people should be: Track Operator, Track Marketing Director, and the Track Education Liaison.


Q. How long is the process from inception to the first race?

A. A private facility can be up and running in as quickly as three months depending on build schedules and weather.  A municipal build on public or park land can take one to three years from concept through approval, funding, planning and construction.


Q. What is a good location for a BMX race track?

A. Ideally, a track should be in a prominent location with a park is associated with other sports and that is in-town, or very near town.  Walking/riding distance from an immediate population base of at least 3,000 residents and within 10 miles of at least 50,000 residents.

The further away from town and visibility the more of a struggle it will be to attract a regular rider base.


Q. How important is networking and building relationships?

A. Being able to build and maintain local relationships is probably the single most important teller of whether or not a potential BMX track will actually be built.  Relationships allow other people to understand your passion and most importantly will allow you to understand how to “pitch” a BMX track to local government officials, residents and future members.  

Relationships will help you through the various approval processes, find funding in places you haven’t thought of, create a volunteer base and create the type of support that will make a track successful for generations.


Q. How close together can two or more BMX race tracks be located?

A. Although each location is unique, and many tracks are currently accustomed to being the only track in town, when comparing locations to soccer or baseball leagues, we see that the density of tracks is able to increase from the current amount.  Some good numbers to start with are at least 30 miles and 100,000 residents. 


Q. How important is local population size when considering building a BMX race track?

A. Local population is very important, especially in the hustle of today’s society.  It should not take a family more than 15 or 20 minutes to reach a local BMX track.  If you have found a low cost land option but there are only 3000 people within 20 minutes of that location, it will be very difficult to create and maintain a rider base.


Q. How much time and commitment does it take to successfully run a BMX race track?

A. We believe the real question here is; how do you measure passion?  Passion is what drives BMX tracks, and time spent on passion is always personal, however if we are getting down to the brass tax, it can take anywhere from 15 to 60 hours a week.


Q. What days/nights are we allowed to race if we are near another USA BMX track?

A. The goal of all BMX tracks is a consistent program.  With consistency people will always know when your track is open.  If there is already another track within 30-60 miles of your location we are going to work with you to create a racing program that does not interfere with a program that is already in place. 


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT QUESTIONS

 

Q. Why should there be a BMX track in our community?

A. “Nobody Sits the Bench” is a motto that perfectly defines what BMX Racing can bring to your community.  With many age and proficiency categories and programs, BMX racing is perfect for the many children, teens and even adults that crave programming outside of the traditional team sport while still being in a positive, structured environment.  


Q. Can BMX racing be a school sport?

A. Yes, technically BMX racing can be a school sport as it is easily adapted to current individual sport norms.  The best comparison is High School Track and Field, many individual events and competitors, one school team, all supporting each other.

In practice, USA BMX is working on ways to officially adapt BMX racing into school sports.


Q. What is the BMX Racing League and why is it important?

A. The BMX Racing League is a program designed to mimic the structure and more importantly the time frame and expectations parents have of traditional sports.  USA BMX provides all marketing, structure, and basic administration for the BMX Racing League, leaving coaches to focus on what is important; Instilling a passion for BMX racing in the next generation.

  • All new tracks will launch with a USA BMX Racing League as part of their opening package.


Q. What is a USA BMX Licensed Coach?

A. Just like any coach in any youth program a USA BMX coach has completed a background check, CPR and First Aid certifications, a concussion awareness program, safety modules and is provided with lesson plans from the BMX Racing League as well as 10 additional lessons for continuing practice.  

Anyone can be a USA BMX Coach and many times, parents with a passion of teaching make better mentors for new riders than current racers do.

For more information regarding the USA BMX Coaching Program please visit: https://www.usabmx.com/site/sections/152



ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL QUESTIONS

What does it cost to build a BMX race track?

The ‘actual’ cost (referring to the retail cost of every service and material needed) to build a BMX Track will always vary based on land value and the amount of resources at hand.  The ‘real’ cost (referring to the amount of out-of-pocket cash) will also vary based on the amount of in-kind donations of services and materials. However, we typically categorize track cost into four different types of tracks.

  • The Minimum track - Probable cost: $360,000.  

  • The Turn-Key Local track - Probable cost: $769,000

  • The Regional track - Probable cost: $1,295,000

  • The National track - Probable cost: $1,727,000

For a detailed break-down and visual representation of each track, please download our Probable Cost Document


 

What is the economic impact of a USA BMX Track in my town?

Like many recreational sports, there are small local fees associated with participation and membership.  These fees are typically allocated towards daily operating expenses. A BMX Race track also supports the creation/growth of a local bicycle store, and typically local restaurants for after-race meals week in and week out through the regular program and especially during large events. 

Unlike many local sports facilities, all USA BMX tracks have the ability to host State, Regional and National level competitions that can bring millions of dollars in direct revenue and taxes to the community in just one large event.  Many times the entire cost of a BMX track to the community can be returned in just one event. This return can be compounded if large events are hosted annually.

An example of the economic impact of one national event comes from the post-event report compiled by Visit Tulsa, through the use of their subscription to the Destination International calculator, from our 2019 Sooner National.  

Report Highlights:

  • Event length: 3 days

  • Overnight Attendees: 3068

  • Business Sales Direct: $1,341,829

  • Business Sales Total: $2,329,349

  • Local Taxes (Total): $75,851

Download the original Visit Tulsa post-event report at this link: 

 


What does it cost to operate and maintain a BMX race track?

To provide a realistic view of the cost of maintaining a track we like to view cost as two items:

  • Monetary Cost: The actual dollar amount to maintain a BMX track

  • Time Cost: The time it can take volunteers to keep a track running.

It is important to understand that money can be saved during the initial build on items that are “time-maintenance-reducers” such as pavement, concrete and soil stabilizer compounds.  However, this upfront cost savings can take a Time-Cost toll on volunteers and workers at any track, and especially on a new track. 

Monetary Cost considerations should be broken down into the following groups:

  • Sanction Fees

  • Insurance Fees

  • Office Supplies

  • Trophy / Award cost

  • Equipment maintenance

  • Tools

  • Materials

  • Marketing

  • Operations

  • Capital Improvements

More information regarding probable cost and expenses is provided in the calculator link in the “Is running a BMX race track “profitable”


What are the per-race / practice fees to USA BMX?

USA BMX charges a nominal per race sanctioning fee for providing race software, support, race structure and points tracking.  Seldom subject to changes, the 2020 Sanction Fee for local races is $25, there is no sanction fee for practices or lessons.  

The complete 2020 Sanction Fee Schedule for all events can be downloaded at:  www.


 Is running a BMX race track “profitable”?

Along with promoting the sport of BMX racing the ultimate goal of running a successful track is to generate more income than expenses each year.  This will allow for capital improvements and the ability to re-invest in the business of running the track. Along with the typical racing fees there are many additional ways of generating income, including: Concessions, sponsorships, fundraising, weekly lessons, a pro-shop, etc.

A general calculator, for probable income and expenses can be downloaded at:


ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE QUESTIONS

What about insurance and liability?

All of our sanctioned tracks are provided liability insurance upon approval of sanctioning.  In a nutshell coverage includes 24 hour public liability, spectator and participant liability.  Upon request we will provide the details of our current coverage as it may alter slightly from year to year based on current regulations and minimums.  Insurance cost is very affordable and based on a per event or per rider charge. Any approved non-race event is only $25 for the entire day, and each race event is $1/rider, with a minimum charge of $30 and a maximum charge of $60.


Should our BMX race track be ran as a “for-profit” or “not-for-profit” entity?

The choice is yours and there are benefits to each.  Remember, the primary differences between “for-profit” and “not-for-profit” is only a designation on what taxes your organization will pay and what type of donations can be tax deductible for organizations that donate to you.   

Regardless of your choice a track can only be run on a sound financial basis.  No organization can survive if the expenses exceed the revenues. In either situation the administrative structure can be arranged in a variety of options including and all volunteer staff, partially paid staff or fully paid staff.

If you are interested in filing for a not-for-profit status, you can download the Administrative, Financial and Organization Structure document here.


What is incorporation and why should I/we do this?

Incorporation is the act of creating a business entity in your state, federally and sometimes even in your municipality.  Incorporation is the first step in both the “for-profit” and “not-for-profit” models. This is a good way to limit the personal liability of the operators and landowners.  For more detailed information on the correct ways to incorporate you can download the Administrative, Financial and Organization Structure document here.


Should our BMX track be on private property, public property or school property?

Similar to the “for-profit” / “not-for-profit” question, this is entirely up to you.  A track on private property can be built much faster and is not usually subject to politics and bureaucratic red tape.  However a track on private property may not receive the same level of community support as one on public property that is integrated with recreational and educational programs.  The flip side here is many times a track on public property can take years to become a reality.


FACILITY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

 

How many acres are needed for a BMX race facility?

2-3 acres will support a full-scale BMX track which is located in an existing park or complex which already includes parking.

3-5 acres will be required for a facility which will need to incorporate parking and additional amenities.


What are the dimensions of the track area itself?

A typical track will take up a space of 150’ x 350’.  To include spectators you will need a total area of approximately 400’ x 500’


 What type of materials are best for prefilling?

  • Is prefilling required?

    • Prefilling is when a layer of rock is placed on top of the ground where a track is being built.  This raises the track to allow for drainage and prevent flooding. Prefilling is not a requirement, however it is highly recommended and many Track Operators have regretted not prefilling their build area before bringing in dirt for the track surface.

  • 2 or under rock, dirty is cheaper.  No less than a foot. $4.50/metric ton delivered. 


What are the recommendations for an Indoor BMX race track?

Coming soon.....


What additional facilities and considerations are required for a BMX race track?

The following amenities and considerations will accompany your BMX track.  To help keep costs down, a shared use facility or park is preferable, that way the BMX is able to utilize many amenities that might already be in place without having to incur the full cost of each item

  • Parking lot

  • Bathrooms

  • Registration

  • Concessions

  • Bleachers

  • Repair Shop


What is the track team responsible for when working to schedule a track build with a USA BMX builder?

After what seems like an eternity of work and your track build is finally ready to be scheduled, your local team will be responsible for a list of items including;  all paperwork being completed, site and materials prep, and supplies on order.

The full Track Build Checklist for Scheduling can be downloaded here... Coming Soon




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