Olympic Caliber BMX Race Track Enriching Sarasota Sports Scene


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, August 29th, 2016 – Chalk up BMX bike racing as another point for Sarasota as a world-class sports destination, a growing stature good for market visibility particularly for communities like Lake Ridge and Glen Oaks offering attractively priced Sarasota homes for sale.

Already enjoying proximity to the popular Ed Smith Stadium, these communities got an added perk from the $2.4 million renovation of the BMX race track at their neighboring Sarasota County Youth Athletic Complex. This facility, which had its grand opening celebration in August 2016, has quickly reaffirmed its reputation amongst top notch BMX bicycle racers.

Molds an Olympian Gold Medalist

Olympic Caliber BMX Race Track Enriching Sarasota Sports Scene

The original BMX track was built in 1974, and in October last year, its renovation to Olympic standards was started by the same outfit that built the BMX race course in the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Now called the Sarasota BMX Supercross, the facility owns the bragging rights as the oldest continuously running BMX track and one of the largest in the nation.

Notably, this sports discipline was invented in the U.S., specifically in southern California during the early 1970s. BMX aficionados from Sarasota were amongst the prime movers of the sports’ inclusion in the Olympics which was eventually adopted in the Beijing Games in 2008.

Many Rio-bound BMX racers, including the eventual women’s gold medalist, Mariana Pajon of Colombia, trained at the new Sarasota track. Located on 1500 North Tuttle Avenue, the facility is family-friendly and open to all ages, and has previously hosted many state and national races that in some ways help sharpen market interest on Sarasota homes for sale.

The renovated track offers all the thrills of BMX competition with its Olympic-standard starting ramp about 40 feet high at a 28-degree grade that allows racers to pedal down up to 45 miles per hour. The undulating hills of the circuitous race course can send the riders soaring through the air up to around 40 feet.

Golden Omen from Rio

Added impetus could be expected to the popularity of BMX racing in the U.S. and eventually to the new Sarasota track. The country bagged its first gold medal in this sports discipline during the recent Rio Games. This honor was delivered by Texas-born and now Nevada-based Connors Fields who improved to first place his seventh place finish in the BMX competition in the 2012 London Olympics.

Additionally, Alise Post of Minnesota took home the silver in the women’s BMX of the recent Summer Games. She was also the first American woman to medal in this sport, ramping up her performance from 12th place in the London Games.

But there’s more besides BMX racing for residents of Lake Ridge, Glen Oaks and other communities around the new race course. The 40-acre Sarasota County Youth Athletic Complex where this renovated race course is located also provides facilities for other sports such as baseball, football, and tennis. A designated park, the complex also features a neighborhood playground and picnic areas.

Old Reliables at Play

Just south of the complex is the Ed Smith Stadium where the Baltimore Orioles has been holding spring training games since 2011 under a 30-year agreement with the county. The stadium itself has undergone a $31.2 million renovation to accommodate this revered ball club tracing its roots to the 1900s.

For golf, a traditional magnet for Sarasota homes for sale, the public course of Bobby Jones Golf is the main draw east of the stadium and the youth athletic complex. A 45-hole municipal facility, this layout on the eastern border of Glen Oaks was opened in 1927 and has since then hosted a slew of golfing events that sure has enlivened the local sports scene.