We were lucky enough to get our hands on some tickets to the launch of the Derby Arena Velodrome.
Located next to the iPro Stadium, you cannot miss the fantastic architecture of the £27.5 million Arena. Officially opened by Dame Sarah Storey and MP Margaret Beckett, the arena was built as part of Derby City Council’s Leisure Strategy, and marks an important change in the leisure facilities that Derby has to offer.
As we walked up the path to the beautifully lit arena we saw people queuing around, waiting for the doors to open. There were drums being played and a real sense of excitement and curiosity in the air as to what the arena would look like from the inside.
We were met and greeted by the Derby Live staff who were very helpful and provided us with our tickets for the night. There were numerous entertainment acts inside including a DJ, comedy acts, singers and more. Once we stepped foot inside the Velodrome itself I was taken a back at the vastness of the building. Before me I could see volleyball, badminton and futsal all taking place on the sports infield, in the centre of the Velodrome. We made our way around the arena, watching the various sports that were taking place. It was a great atmosphere.
Afterwards we proceeded towards the hospitality rooms and the gym where we had a tour of the gym. We then made our way to our seats couldn't have been situated in a better place, on the home straight of the track. I was amazed at how steep the track was and found out that the steepest part is 42 degrees. I couldn't wait to watch the races.
We were welcomed by Councillor Ranjit Banwait, leader of Derby City Council followed by the sprint heats. I never realised how tactical cycling was until I saw this race. A game of cat and mouse to see who would make their move first, left me on the edge of my seat as they crossed the line.
The elimination race was even more exciting to watch with riders being eliminated by just a few centimeters. As a lifetime sports fan I was a little star struck to see 3 times world champion Dani King and Dame Sarah Storey race. In the crowd was also 3 times Olympian and Double Commonwealth Champion Ross Davenport showing his support to Derby.
All in all it was a great evening of entertainment and excitement in a world class sports venue. It was great to see local businesses and Derby residents showing their support and being proud to be from Derby. The Arena will attract people from around the country to Derby further increasing the exposure of the city.
However it isn’t purely sport at the arena with other events coming up comedian Jimmy Carr and Aladdin.
The Arena is one of only five indoor Velodrome’s in the UK.
The café 42 degrees is named after the steepest part of the track.
265,000 nails were hand-driven into the 250 metre track.