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Dunc Gray Velodrome?

Mar 11, 2009
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Can anyone explain why the Dunc Gray velodrome is situated where it is?

It is difficult to get to with public transport. No-one in their right mind would ride around that area. It's miles away from any of the cycling strongholds in Sydney. The population mix in the surrounding area is unlikely to have an interest if indeed they do know it exists.

Sydney has lost the World Cup to Melbourne due to poor attendances. It's a beautiful track becoming a white elephant due to poor location.
Aug 29, 2009
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can you just imagine if they had built it in the actual Olympic park, whereby there are more bikes than cars on a tuesday night for example - *shakes head* - Raw track on a friday night usually gets a good turn out - but thats riders most definately not spectators - an Paul does such a fantastic job on the mic!
Dunc Gray Velodrome

Maybe the site where the Tempe veledrome is could have been redeveloped if they had the space for car parking and expansion etc..........Probably had something to to do with costs, traffic gridlock and the usual council nonsense with zoning laws and regulations etc...........The old Camperdown velodrome was probably the closest track site but from what I remember, unless surrounding buildings were bought, there would not have been enough room to redevelop and the traffic would have been a nightmare. Never visited Tempe but some good memories from Camperdown even though the facilities were primitive. Don't blame the organisers at all. The usual story with lack of support from the government and council.
Mar 18, 2009
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Dunc Gray velodrome

Yes, we do have to make the best of Dunc Gray, it's the only covered velodrome in Sydney and it cost over $40million to build. We probably won't get another one for a while. And it's actually not a bad location in terms of 'cycling strongholds', being fairly central to most of the big clubs. It also has space for a crit circuit, which other locations couldn't offer. Most competitors 'probably' like it - the problem is in attracting big crowds, not all of whom will be active competitors, friends or relatives. In the absence of rusted-on diehard track spectators you need lots of casual "sports fans" who just take a punt on watching something different, then drift off to a bar or a club, a restaurant or the movies. That's definitely a problem at Bass Hill. Arguably Darling Harbour (the Ent Cent was one option at one stage) would've been better in that regard, but then the competitors would have whinged about traffic and parking in the CBD.

I can't remember exactly who made the location decision - it was outside of the usual planning laws with a special act of the NSW parliament. Perhaps it was SOCOG - but I do remember all of the sports lobbying for their preferences. The Homebush site couldn't fit everything in, and road, bus and rail traffic would've collapsed if they'd tried. So many sports were spread out all over Sydney, from Darling Harbour to Blacktown and Penrith. Cycling's influence was probably not that strong compared to the more media-indulged sports like swimming and athletics, so Homebush was not so likely anyway.

In the 1990s politically and demographically, NSW cycling was dominated by clubs and supporting organisations to the south and west in a southern arc from the inner west and east to the St George area, Bankstown, Fairfield and Parramatta. If i'd have picked the cycling "stronghold" in terms of influence, racing and organisation I'd probably have said Bankstown anyway. But when you look at it, Bass Hill is not only close to Bankstown but also not that far from St George or Parramatta either. And the eastern clubs had both Camperdown and Canterbury ("Tempe") already. (Let's not forget Tempe was born out of losing Wiley Park to road widening and was yet another Bankstown club iniative.) Of course St George had their own track, too, as did Parramatta and Lidcombe.

With sufficient land available, plus many local racers and sporting organisations behind it (and yes Bankstown Sports club had a lot of influence, I'm sure) Bass Hill looked pretty good as an Olympic site, just as Fairfield looked good for mountain biking.

I do remember plenty of doubts were raised about its sustainability as a venue post-Olympics, but the same could have been said of Homebush, or most other suburban venues. And if you had put it at Darling Harbour the crowds may have been bigger but the risk of losing it to basketball or other sports was huge. One failure at a high-land-value site and cycling would've been shown the door. I think the idea of a portable, temporary velodrome was floated for this reason but then we wouldn't have this wonderful permanent velodrome, pretty well accessible by everyone, almost anytime. Bass Hill is great in that it's available. A city site would have been used for many other purposes and otherwise "locked up".

As for other sites, Canterbury (AKA "Tempe") already had the twin of Brisbane's Commonwealth Games velodrome, but it had a few technical problems of its own, and wasn't fast. You could build a roof and rebuild the track, but why not keep it and build another one at Bass Hill? Then we get 2 velodromes instead of just 1... and would we have drawn bigger crowds at Tempe anyway? I can remember sitting in the cold at Tempe watching the pros race on a Friday night and I can tell you it was pretty lonely....

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