Milton's Pan Am velodrome could have gone to Hamilton

The Toronto Pam Am 2015 committee officially announces the Milton velodrome Thursday, a facility that could have been in Hamilton.
WorldRecord Tracks Inc., considered to be a top company for specialized sport facilities, designed the Milton velodrome track. Ontario Sports Solutions won the contract to oversee the project. (Supplied)

Hamilton Olympic cyclist Sue Palmer-Komar was in Milton Thursday morning to announce details of the new Pan Am velodrome.

All cycling events for Toronto's Pam American Games in 2015 will happen on this site. Hamilton city council made a failed bid for this facility in 2011.

Thunder Bay's gold medal Paralympian cyclist Robbi Weldon joined Palmer-Komar, along with Pan Am CEO Ian Troop, Milton mayor Gordon Krantz and Bal Gosal, federal minister of sport.

"We are extremely excited to house this world-class sports and community recreational facility in Milton. The velodrome within the Milton Education Village will help transform this part of the community into a dynamic new neighborhood," said Krantz.

Milton's 154,000 square-foot velodrome will be the only in Canada - and the second on the continent - to meet international cycling standards and will operate year-round.

This means Canadian cyclists will not longer have to train at the velodrome in Carson, California, the site of the 1984 Olympic cycling events.

"With this facility, we have designs on being the fastest, most state-of-the-art velodrome on the continent," said Troop in a statement. "Not only will this ensure a fantastic field of play for the top cyclists in the Americas and Caribbean coming to compete here in less than a thousand days, it will also put Milton and Canada on the world map of cycling."

Milton's velodrome will be three storeys with a 250-metre track for competitive cycling, along with courts for other sports, a jogging and walking track and 2,500 spectator seats.

The facility is expected to cost $56 million. About $25 million is coming from the city of Milton and a private donor. The federal government will pick up the rest of the tab, contributing about $31 million.

The Pan Am committee turned down Hamilton's bid in October 2011. The city only offered five of the $22.5 million the committee was asking for.

The velodrome will be built in the Milton Education Village on Tremaine Road, next to the proposed site for a new Wilfrid Laurier University satellite campus. After the Pan Am games, Olympians and competitive cyclists can use the facility for training.

Construction is expected to begin in February 2013, with a completion date in fall 2014.