AURORA Ill., (December 20, 2001) - Clear Channel Entertainment's motor sports division and its regional and national arenacross series, America's largest indoor motocross racing series by number of events, are racing into 2002 set to crown a new champion and break a few records itself.
Since 1996, in the category of rider entries, the arenacross series more than tripled in total entries. 1996 represented the first year that Clear Channel Entertainment (then PACE) promoted arenacross after buying Mike Kidd's arenacross events.
"After my team of employees and I joined Clear Channel, the first year we had exceeded all prior rider participation levels and reached 6069 entries in the '96-'97 season. Shortly after we had the vision of making that number 15,000 entries within five years. In 2001, we exceeded 18,000 total amateur and expert racing entries," said Mike Kidd who now is responsible for arenacross, as a vice president of Clear Channel Entertainment's motor sports division. "In 2002, we hope to host more than 20,000 entries and we are already on track" added Kidd.
Amateur racing and breaking records isn't foreign to Kidd who began amateur racing in 1964 and eventually made his way to 1981 Grand National Champion. Every national champion makes his way through amateur racing, just as 7-time supercross champion Jeremy McGrath competed in the San Francisco Cow Palace arenacross in the early 90's.
In 2002, Clear Channel Entertainment's arenacross will travel to 39 different cities and more than 1.6 million dollars in contingency money and equipment is posted in arenacross, representing a 43% increase over 2001's contingency postings. According to Kidd, "One of the fastest growing categories in arenacross is the number of amateur entries we have each year across the country. Any of Clear Channel Entertainment's arenacross events attract between 800 to 1000 amateur entries. Amateurs play a major role not only in arenacross, but also in the growth of motorcycle racing. I believe our number of amateur entries clearly shows our dedication to insure our sport continues to prosper."
Last year, Clear Channel Entertainment took amateur racing to the next level when Kidd and his crew created arenacross' crown jewel, the Amateur Arenacross World Finals, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. With 288 of the best amateur arenacross riders qualifying from six different regions from across the country to compete, the luxurious event opened the doors of the most prestigious arenacross event ever complete with all the Las Vegas showmanship. The event followed two days of the 'World's Richest Motorcycle Race' the U.S. Open.
"As a former racer, I can't imagine hitting it any bigger as an amateur than to have qualified to compete at the MGM Grand, on the same tracks that supercross legends Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael had just competed on the day before. As a part of Clear Channel Entertainment, I couldn't be happier to offer this opportunity to amateurs again in 2002," added Kidd.
Charlie Mancuso, president of Clear Channel Entertainment's motor sports division, said, "Our commitment to developing amateur racing runs deep into the roots of off-road motorcycling. When you combine the efforts we make in arenacross amateur racing you will not find any other organization more committed to the development of the sport. These programs provide the foundation of champions for both arenacross and supercross. I am exceptionally proud of our growth in arenacross."
The six-year history of Arenacross entry total follows: