By Terry Rogers
For the first time since the track opened, First State BMX will host a US BMX National Race at the track, located behind Milford Central Academy, from September 13 through 15. The event promises to bring more than 600 riders of all ages to the city, as it is toward the end of the racing season, and many riders will need to accumulate more points toward championships in their levels.
“Similar to NASCAR, cities must put together bids to sponsor a BMX National as only 32 cities are picked for the series,” said David Arthur, Executive Director of the Delaware Sports Commission. “One of the biggest reasons Milford was awarded this race was because of the hard work of the very dedicated volunteers that operate the Milford BMX track.”
BMX Racing recently became an Olympic sport and First State BMX is the home of a future Olympic hopeful, Austin Loebe, a 2011 graduate of Caesar Rodney High School. Loebe recently turned professional and has begun training to qualify for the US Olympic Team.
“When I was eight years old, my uncle, Jim Dallinger, took me to the Milford track to watch and I was hooked,” Loebe said. “To be a pro, you have to step up your game. You basically eat, breathe and sleep BMX.”
The National Race in September promises to be an economical boost to Milford, says First State BMX Treasurer, Debbie Brockmeyer, whose son Nolan, is a 13 Year Old Expert.
“When we travel to national races, we spend a lot of money in the area where the race is held,” Brockmeyer explained. “It is not unusual to spend $500 to $800 in a weekend, between the hotel room, in local restaurants, and to enjoy some of the local activities available in the area. There have been times when we have visited an area for a race and thought w
e’d like to return. We hope that people visit Milford for this race in Se
ptember and do the same thing.”
Arthur agrees, stating that this event could have an economic impact of close to $2 million on the local area. With more than 600 riders and families coming to participate in the race, local hotels, restaurants, retail outlets and tourist attractions should benefit from the event.
Parents of those who participate in First State BMX are also excited about the upcoming National race. Sherry Messick, whose son, Tyler, joined the organization recently, says that she is looking forward to the upcoming season, and to the race.
“Tyler went to watch a race and came home and begged me to sign him up,” Messick says. “He has been addicted ever since. He even fell one night and had to go to the emergency room for stitches and wanted to go right back to the track. The sport just gets into their blood, and it helps that the volunteers at the track are so terrific. Plus, it is great exercise and gets the kids outside doing something active.”
First State BMX is seeking sponsors for the event. For more information, contact Arthur at 302-672-6832. For information about joining First State BMX, call 302-422-4133.