Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios have announced that the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs has been working closely with the Marianas Racing Association to revive a motocross park for the CNMI.
Senior Policy Advisor Robert Hunter, who continues to oversee DCCA, said the renewed interest in motocross has been seen over the last several years. He noted that the DCCA has been meeting with the MRA and the Department of Public Lands to look for avenues to bring the sport back on island and provide a venue for the community to safely participate and watch motocross races.
“Our government and MRA have looked at a number of different areas for the park, including the former People’s Park location at Wireless Ridge and other lots in the Marpi area. The former Cowtown footprint was used for nearly a decade for the motocross activities. It is an ideal site and we are now working on acquiring a temporary designation of the site to once again host a motocross park for events. Renewed interest in motocross has really prompted Gov. Torres, Lt. Governor Palacios, and the DCCA to work with MRA to bring this back,” said Hunter.
“We appreciate the partnership with the DCCA and the effort to bring back motocross, that is growing in popularity once again, to the public and provide a venue for everyone, participant, enthusiast, and audience alike to enjoy the sport,” said MRA president Steve Sablan.
Sablan added that there is a substantial number of participants and audience at the temporary track set up next to the former Kan Pacific Swimming Pool.
“While we are extremely appreciative of DPL’s permission to temporarily utilize the site, the sport would be better served by a site that can accommodate a better track and a better audience viewing experience. The old Cowtown site, that once served as a motocross park is perfect for this,” he said.
Hunter noted that the DCCA had partnered with the MRA in the past, facilitating the motocross raceway at the former Cowtown site that was active for years.
“We really want to see this revived and we appreciate the assistance of the MRA in our effort to make this happen for the community. Gov. Torres and Lt. Gov. Palacios are also excited to see this happen again for the community and have thrown their full support behind this. The motocross has a long history in the CNMI and played a significant role in our community sports-mix for over four decades. It would not be a leap to say that motocross runs in our island blood, for those of us who grew up here in the 1970s through the ‘90s. These are quality family events that will be free of charge to the whole community,” Hunter said.
“The people of the CNMI have always loved and supported this type of racing since the mid-1960s when riders came to Saipan and performed at the old Susupe baseball park where the Joeten-Kiyu Library is located today,” Sablan said.
“As the president of the MRA, I am grateful for the partnership in the effort to see a motocross park once again and hopeful that the community be granted the request for the use of the property, so that we can realize a track and resume our activities, increase the awareness of the need to practice safe operations of all off-road vehicles, and provide our community with an exciting activity to participate in and watch,” he added.
In the meantime, the public is invited to watch the motocross practice races in Marpi on Sundays. If you are interested in learning, participating, or getting involved with the MRA motocross activities, you can contact MRA vice president Cuki Alvarez at 783-4662 or MRA secretary Eleanor Cepeda at 483-0113. (PR)