TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) - Tulsa is just two days away from the biggest BMX championships in the country. Crews are preparing the tracks for the USA BMX Grand Nationals, presented by the Tulsa Sports Commission. This is the 19th year Tulsa will host the event at the River Spirit Expo Center.
“We’re anticipating 3,000 athletes from 47 states and at least 20 to 30 different nations. And we’re seeing some great growth on the international aspect of things where we literally have different countries that are now bringing their teams in,” said John David, chief operating officer for USA BMX.
Almost 700 dump trucks have been pouring dirt since last week to get the courses just right. Several vendors started setting up tents and merchandise before the event kicks off Thanksgiving day.
“We bring in about 20 of our own staff out of Phoenix Arizona that fly in. And then we fly in the best track builders in the world, the best staff in the world of BMX racing to host a great event,” said David.
Event coordinators anticipate thousands of people from across the world to travel to Tulsa cheering on their favorite athletes, including 2016 Olympic gold medalist Connor Fields and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Donny Robinson, in his final competition before retirement.
“The Grand Nationals is a combination of every racer’s dream in the United States. You can’t wait to get into Thanksgiving week and to come to Tulsa Oklahoma.”
Event directors said the ‘Grands’ gets bigger and better every year. David explained early numbers show every indication they’ll have great numbers this holiday weekend, and even give Tulsa some international exposure.
“Since the sport became an Olympic sport in 2008 our growth has been just like a rocket ship and we’ve been so excited to be able to take that and also translate to Tulsa here, to translate that success,” said David.
Fans can cheer on the men’s professionals during a special ticketed event Saturday night for $10.
“Almost everyone you’ve seen compete in the Olympics you’re going to see right here on these tracks in Tulsa. How cool is that? These are the world’s best athletes of BMX racing,” said David.
Admission for all other events for the Grand Nationals is free.