ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - This weekend thousands of people are expected in Rock Hill as two major cycling events are happening at the same time. In addition, the city is hosting an inaugural family festival in conjunction with it all.
Officials with the City of Rock Hill say you just may see some future Olympians as both the USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championship and the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup serve as a step for these athletes to qualify for the Olympic games.
More than 120 student athletes from nearly 30 colleges and universities are currently competing in a variety of competitions at the Giordana Velodrome. Their competition kicked off Thursday and will run through Sunday.
At the BMX Supercross Track the stage is set for more than 200 riders from 30 countries to take to the track Friday afternoon and on Saturday.
City officials have also organized the Gripped Festival in the RV lot next to the BMX track to take place in conjunction with the two cycling events. They expect the weekend could bring in millions of dollars for the city.
“This is the first time we’ve had the opportunity to have two major events within the same for five days, and it’s the first time we’ve done the festival,” said David Linder, the Tourism Supervisor for the City of Rock Hill’s Parks Recreation & Tourism. “So it’s kind of hard to exactly anticipate the economic impact of that, but these racers and riders have been here for a week or longer. They’re staying in the hotels, they’re eating at the restaurants, they’re going shopping, they’re going to buy gas and so we’re looking forward to getting that calculation at the end of the week to see what it is.”
City officials say in 2017, when the city hosted the UCI BMX World Championships, which is a longer event with more participants, the year-end impact from the Rock Hill Outdoor facilities was $23 million.
Linder says they’re also looking forward to getting the community out to see these two major cycling events and providing the festival as an opportunity for families to make a day of it.
If you would like more information on the cycling events or the Gripped Festival visit grippedfestival.com.