HOLLYWOOD, Md.—After the activation of stadium quality lighting at the bicycle motocross (BMX) track at Chaptico Park Nov. 17 the local BMX organization is poised to bring national-level races to St. Mary's County, according to the track's manager.
"This was to be able to host national BMX events, race longer into the season and also race during cooler hours during the summer," said Greg Wheeler. "It's one of the biggest things that could have happened to us."
Wheeler had worked with the county's Recreation and Parks Department earlier this year to get the funding for the lighting—about $250,000.
"It was the only thing holding us back from holding the national events," Wheeler said. "We had the parking, we had the hotels but we didn't have the lights."
For racing tracks to have new LED stadium lighting is rare, Wheeler said. Most of the tracks with event lighting for night time events date back 10 to 15 years in their installation.
"Without the lighting we would've already had to close down the track for the season," he said. "We're still racing for a couple more weeks.
"Other tracks are jealous of us; no one has the new LED state-of-the-art lighting, not in the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia area."
There are 350 registered racers with SOMD BMX, according to Wheeler, and each race brings out about 130 to 150 racers. Racers range in age from 2 years old to 80.
"We've got four-generation families racing out there," Wheeler said.