The Big Bend Bike Rally Planning Committee approached the Great Bend City Council Monday night requesting permission to establish a motocross track at the Expo Complex for a motocross race during the rally set for September 28.
After a presentation on the proposal, the council approved the project, with the committee shouldering most of the cost and liability.
“We feel the Great Bend Expo Complex has everything necessary to pull off a successful motocross event,” said Rachel Mawhirter, Great Bend Chamber of Commerce marketing coordinator and committee member. “We would be broadening our target audience.”
The dirt track would be constructed at the north edge of the city’s property, but the rally committee “is prepared to incur the expense and liability of preparing for the event.”
They have worked with the Barton County Fair Board, which supports the improvements, Mawhirter said. This would be a new facility consisting of straight-aways and rolling obstacles.
The course would be flattened after the event to make maintenance easier. This would also make it safer during the down time.
“There’s a lot of support for this,” Mawhirter said. Several local businesses were represented at the meeting, all of which backed the idea.
The committee is willing to handle finding sponsors, marketing, providing liability insurance for the event, provide the improvements (the track, lighting and sound), provide volunteers to staff the races and offer dirt-work maintenance.
All the committee was asking for from the city was permission, help getting the utilities in order and the continual spraying of weeds.
Started in 2006 by Great Bend attorney Robin Fabricious and her husband Tim, the rally has “grown by leaps and bounds,” she said. In 2012, it drew 2,000 spectators.
“We would love to work with the City of Great Bend to continue putting our community on the map during the sixth-annual Big Bend Bike Rally,” Mawhirter said. The Rally Committee falls under the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce.
Attendees could take in the rally and motocross for one gate fee, she said. She has been working with two professional racers and projects having about 200 racers taking part.
Now, she said, they can start seeking sponsors.