Jacksonville Supercross – A New Favorite
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Jacksonville, Florida welcomed the two-wheeled circus otherwise known as the Monster Energy Supercross for the first-time ever yesterday (check out the results here
). And having frequented many Supercross races across the U.S., I’ve got to hand it to the folks over at Feld Motorsports, Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and of course the riders as it was quite a show.
First off, the venue itself is great. Situated on the banks of the St. Johns River, the stadium is located on prime downtown real-estate offering a variety of bars and restaurants within a just a couple of blocks. The open-air stadium is also relatively new (opened in 1995) and it features an efficient design that allows fans to get into, out and around with relative ease. Another big plus is that the workers inside were exceptionally friendly and accommodating.
Between the city of Jacksonville's accomodations and the actual race, this year's Jacksonville Supercross round was one of the best of the year.
The weather this time of year proved to be perfect for holding a nighttime race. How much better does it get; Lounging around in shorts and a T-shirt, cold beer in hand, without having to worry about an evening chill like you would, say in California?
All though a fair number of fans showed up (31,653 to be exact), the stadium was nowhere close to its approximately 70,000-person capacity. The entire upper deck was vacant and there were plenty of open seats scattered throughout the lower deck. You could pretty much pick your section and sit anywhere. It was surprising really, because motocross and motorcycling in general appears to be popular in Florida. The so-so turnout is also remarkable considering that February’s Monster Truck Jam garnered a near capacity crowd according to workers we spoke to.
As opposed to previous track configurations, which often seem simple enough for you and your buddies to rip around on, the track in Jacksonville was challenging making for some awesome racing and of course crashes. Even more impressive was how well the 6,000 tons of imported dirt held together through the entire day.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the evening was the epic battle between championship contenders James Stewart and Chad Reed. The boys battled as hard as I’ve ever witnessed and even more impressive was just how much control they had riding at the limit. Although they came together a couple of times, neither rider did anything silly and they’ve set themselves up for another awesome race in Seattle in two weeks time.
Only time will tell if the race was successful enough for it to stick around on next year’s calendar, but if it were up to me, Jacksonville would be a permanent stop from now on.
Follow Adam Waheed on Google+