Lakewood is excited to share its Fort Steilacoom Park has been selected as the site of the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships.
“The cyclocross championship is the most contested bid for bicycle racing in the U.S.,” said Dean Burke, executive director of the Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission. “The last time the event was in the Puget Sound area – the 1990s – it was only a small fraction of the size it is now.”
Cyclocross is a mostly off-road bicycle race that includes obstacles, hills, curves and mud. Racing season runs September to January and is open to men, women and includes a junior age bracket for young cyclists.
Fort Steilacoom Park is an ideal location for the competition, said Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson.
“It offers beautiful varied terrain, ample space for concessions, and is spectator friendly. It also has enough space to offer parking, as was demonstrated when the park was used as the primary parking location for the 2015 U.S. Open,” Anderson said.
Thousands of participants, including more than 2,000 racers from 50 states, spectators, volunteers and media are expected to descend on the 350-acre park in December 2019 for the 46th annual championship event.
Preliminary estimates suggest the event will generate $1.5 million for the region in direct spending by visitors and people associated with the event.
“Alongside all of our state and regional cyclocross partners we have been preparing for this for a long time,” Burke said. “The city of Lakewood has been a star for openly embracing cyclocross the way they have. Fort Steilacoom Park is an iconic venue for the sport in the Pacific Northwest.”
Lakewood is ready to show off its beloved Fort Steilacoom Park, Anderson said.
“I can assure you USA Cycling will have Lakewood’s support, including that of our Parks and Recreation staff which has the expertise to support such an event. We will do everything we can to make the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships a great event.”
The Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission led the group bidding to bring the week-long event to the region. The nonprofit that develops amateur athletic events and promotes Pierce County as a destination for amateur sporting events was selected by USA Cycling over groups from major cities like the Utah Sports Commission, Oregon Sports Authority and San Diego Sports Commission.