Following up on our last post about the NSC Velodrome, the current state of affairs remains a hazard for the beloved Velodrome.
The NSC Foundation, along with the Friends of the Velodrome, have appointed a group to find a “viable” financial solution to repairs prior to the 2015 season. Current estimate is that $75,000 in repairs could help keep the track open an additional 4 to 6 years. The Foundation also claim the Velodrome itself is responsible for $45-50,000 in losses each year at the overall NSC facility.
Questions really come into play about the stewardship of the Velodrome — not by the friends, who are not the owners, but by the NSC Foundation. The reality of the Velodrome is that as a wood structure, outdoors, it has always had a design life of 20-25 years. This should not have been a surprise to the NSC. This is not a surprise to anyone who has ever owned a wood patio or deck, even with regular sealing and cleaning. Wood has a design life, and 2015 will be the 25th year of operation of the Velodrome.
Where has the strategic plan been around the financials of Velodrome replacement? Yes, they say the facility has been operating at a loss, but has there been no plan for 25 years? The loss also shouldn’t be a shocker. Utilization rate shouldn’t be a shocker. Marketing and outreach has occurred, but at what scale or support? Has the NSC truly supported its own facility, either in planning or long-term finances? (Surely all those craft shows, vendor fairs, and trade shows aren’t operated at losses, are they?) Has the Velodrome had representation amongst the voices for hockey and soccer on the Board?
I don’t know the answers to these questions. But the current situation seems like an issue of poor planning. Nothing that is occurring should be a surprise, and the Board’s intent of throwing up their hands and saying “bye bye Velodrome!” is rather disturbing in light of these questions.
Meanwhile, the Friends seek out “significant” corporate sponsorship.