Motocross revs up with new track in Lincoln
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Story, video and graphic by Sara Nelson, NewsNetNebraska
Lincoln’s first motocross track at Abbott Sports Complex has the potential to put Nebraska on the map in the motocross community by bringing regional and national circuit races in the coming years.
“It’s pretty amazing to see it start out a corn field and turn out like this,” said Craig Fritz, Abbott Sport Complex’s Motocross coordinator.
The road to the track’s completion was not an easy one. Finding a location alone took close to five years.
From rain delays to noise concerns to ancient artifacts on the site, delays stacked up. Nearly a year and a half after it was originally expected to open, the track is up and running.
The motocross track’s layout at Abbott Sports Complex.
Fritz said despite the late opening, the track has attracted many riders from around the area. The track’s first race brought about 175 riders and 1,000 spectators.
“There are a ton of places to ride in Kansas, Iowa, and all the states that border Nebraska. So now that Abbott set up a motocross track it has really given life to our sport here in Lincoln,” said Cody Allen, a motocross enthusiast from the Lincoln area.
The next closest motocross tracks are in Greenwood, Irvington and Friend, Neb., over an hour outside of Lincoln. Riders like Allen and Josh Smith are grateful to have a place close to home to ride and are anxious to see what the track will bring to the state’s motocross community.
“When Abbott is a national track and I apply for sponsorship, it’s going to look good on my resume. Companies want their riders to go to big events. Bigger events bring bigger sponsorships,” said Smith, a sponsored motocross rider from the Omaha area.
For now, the track will host amateur races until it obtains the proper amenities needed for larger events including plumbing, bleachers, concession stands and lighting.
Jeff Maul, the executive director of Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau at the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, said there are two ways to look at the revenue the track will bring to the capital city.
Regional races are expected in the next couple of years, he said, and could bring about 600 riders and 2,000 spectators to Lincoln for two to three days at a time.
National races are five to six years down the road but eventually will bring about 2,000 riders and 12,000 spectators to the area for a seven- to 10-day event.
“This would have a tremendous impact on our community,” Maul said. “We would have riders and spectators staying at our hotels, eating at our restaurants and overall just enjoying our community and all the fun things we have to do here.”