BMX track just 1 project eyed for fairgrounds

A view of the Mohave County Fairgrounds near Harrison Street, pictured Tuesday. This could be a BMX track in the future if organizers are successful.

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br> A view of the Mohave County Fairgrounds near Harrison Street, pictured Tuesday. This could be a BMX track in the future if organizers are successful.

KINGMAN - New things could be in the works for the Mohave County Fairgrounds.

The Mohave County Fair Association has created a new Motor Sports Committee, which is looking into the possibility of building a bicycle motocross (BMX) track for children in the area.

If approved, the new BMX track would be built in the far northeastern corner of the fairgrounds near AAA Safe Storage & Mini Mart on Harrison Street, said Gordon Both, chair of the committee.

"Everyone is beginning to really show interest in getting other events at the fairgrounds. We're really excited about this," Both said.

However, the details of the project have to be worked out before dirt can be moved, he added.

First, the fair board has to determine if it can sublease the land for the project, Both said.

The fair board currently leases the property from Mohave County. It is unclear if the board can sublease the land or if it has to get permission from the Board of Supervisors, he said.

Mohave County Supervisor Gary Watson seemed to think the lease might allow a simple agreement between the Fairgrounds Association and the BMX group. "I'm excited to see how this turns out and the possibility of new events," Watson said. He's hoping the fair association will put together an advisory group made up of members from other organizations such as the Cancer Fair and 4-H.

The organization also has to talk with one of the national BMX-sanctioning bodies in order to get insurance and hold BMX races, Both said.

The plan would be to have the track open twice a week for practice and once a week for races. An entrance fee would be charged to help with up-keep, he said.

Once the paperwork is complete, getting the equipment and dirt for the track would be relatively easy, Both said. He said he's already been in contact with some local groups who are interested in starting the track.

The facility could be a real economic draw to the community, he said. BMX is a family-oriented sport. Families travel all over the country to race at different courses, Both said, which means they need a place to stay, places to eat and other activities to keep them busy when they're not racing.

BMX racing is not the only addition to the fairgrounds the committee is looking at, he said. They're also investigating the possibility of monster truck racing, motocross racing, concerts and other events.

"We want this to be a family-oriented facility," Both said. "We want to have something going on each weekend."

How many and what types of events the committee can bring into the area depends on what happens with state funds for horseracing, he said. The state swept the funds due to budget cuts this year. If horse racing doesn't come back to the fairgrounds, the organization would look at the possibility of removing the racetrack, which would open up the grounds to other possibilities such as motocross, Jeep crawls and music.

Another possibility the committee is looking at is replacing the existing rodeo setup with a facility that could be taken down when not in use, Both said. This would provide more room for other events.

The fairgrounds are certainly large enough to hold these types of events, Both said. He has worked in creating monster truck and motocross venues in stadiums and arenas for several years, he said.

"We've got such a good location, if we would just exploit it," Both said.

A number of organizations have expressed interest in holding events in the Kingman area due to its proximity to Las Vegas, California and Phoenix, Both said. All they need is a venue.

Fairgrounds Manager Errol Pherigo is also excited about the possibilities. "However, it's still just in the planning stages," he said. "This (the BMX track) is just one of a number of things we're pursuing. We just have to see what's available."

"It's like a 'Field of Dreams' thing, we have to build it before they come," Both said.