Mayor Hideto Onishi of Takamatsu, Kagawa, has indicated that he believes that his city’s aging velodrome should be rebuilt rather than closed down, in spite of its declining revenues.
The mayor’s statement came after receiving an experts’ committee report which recommended that the racecourse should be preserved.
The Takamatsu Velodrome opened its doors in 1950. The structure has become weakened and it is no longer able to meet earthquake-resistance standards. Reinforcement of the structure is estimated to require an injection of about 1 billion yen (US$9 million) in public funds.
Ticket sales at the velodrome have fallen by more than 70% since their peak in 1991, reaching only 12.8 billion yen (US$115 million) in the last fiscal year.
The experts committee, however, pointed out that the velodrome remained important to the local economy and they recommended that reconstruction also take into account the need to improve restaurants and toilet facilities to make it more family-friendly.
There are a total of 43 velodromes in Japan at the present time. (AGB Nippon)