Shocking: Hostile Takeover of New England Velodrome

Tony Eberhardt, founder of the New England Velodrome, sent out a shocking message earlier this week that described a hostile takeover of the track, including the recently built cyclocross and BMX courses. Tony describes the turn of events as a complete surprise to him, the sponsors, staff and volunteers. He says that they are collectively committed to finding a new home for the New England Velodrome & Cycling Park and Velocity BMX.

I was not a regular at NE Velodrome, but I did visit it a few times, and found it to be a fun place with a great, supportive and energetic staff. Here are a few of my posts on the park:

New England Velodrome Has Launched Its 2007 Season

New England Velodrome Opens! (2008)

Check Out The NE Velodrome Programs!

NE Velodrome Kids Programs

New England Velodrome Expansions

…and most recently: New England Velodrome Gearing up for 2010

This is a shocking and sad turn of events. Tony and his staff have worked for many years to revive track cycling in New England and all signs pointed to their efforts gaining real traction, with new cycling courses and programs being added year after year.

If the statements in Tony’s email (posted here on the homepage of their website) are accurate, I can’t see that the new operators of the track would do well. The knowledge, passion, support and experience of Tony and his staff will be missing. And, more importantly the cycling community and sponsors shouldn’t take kindly to this sort of shenanigans. I know I won’t be going back to that track.

4 thoughts on “Shocking: Hostile Takeover of New England Velodrome

  1. Shouldn’t you have investigated the story behind Tony’s comments before essentially declaring that you can’t support the new operators? There are always two sides to a story and there’s a good chance that the other side will paint a different picture. Maybe, just maybe, the ‘hostile’ takeover is not what its been portrayed as.

    • Hi Fred: You make a good point, and I had waited a few days before making this post to see if anything surfaced from the other side and qualified my statements with “If the statements in Tony’s email are accurate…”

      There are definitely two sides to every story, and I am wondering how something like this could come on so suddenly (for instance, didn’t Tony have a lease?). However, I’m a blogger and not an investigative journalist and my intent here is to convey my personal experience with the park and the staff of NE Velodrome. As you can see, it’s been limited but extremely positive. So, I’m disappointed at this news and I’ve given Tony the benefit of the doubt for the moment.

      I was hoping this post might spur a little dialog, and I thank you for your comment. This might not be the right forum, but I am very curious to learn more of the details. I suppose they will surface in due time.

  2. This is so sad. Although I agree that there could be two sides, I have an idea that this is another case of corporate consumption of what a few dedicated individuals have worked so hard to build. Of course, Cycloft may believe that they can profit from the programs now that the hard work is done-all they may think they need to do is manage the programs. Not so. Just wait til it rains hard on friday night before the BMX races start. Get the shovels and rakes out. Of course, they may not be intending to do that as BMX is not as hot, profitable, or sponser worthy as Cyclocross/Track racing is now. I will only find out through the grapevine, as my 3 boys and I will be at Wakefield. Thanks to the staff for a great 2009 season. We’ll see you at WBMX. Brad, Aeden, Avery and Dario

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