TULSA, Okla. (BRAIN) — Thousands of BMX racers, teams, families and spectators are headed to the USA BMX Grands this weekend. The event is expected to attract nearly 12,000 attendees, including 2,800 racers and 9,000 spectators. Its exhibit area inside the River Spirit Expo at the Tulsa Fairgrounds includes about 200 exhibit spaces, which has sold out each of the last 8 years.
“Just as Sea Otter is deemed the ‘big industry gathering’ for the MTB segment, our Grands is the same when it comes to the BMX World,” said Craig Barrette, USA BMX’s creative director. “It’s the largest gathering of BMX brands, teams and racers in the entire universe.”
The Tulsa expo hall was once the largest free-span building in the U.S. For the Grands, about a third of the building is used for the race track and two-thirds is for the vending area and race pit.
About 100 expo spots are taken up by exhibitors and the rest are for teams or other BMX track operators.
This year’s vendors include Northern California’s Tangent Pro Shop, Full Tilt Bike Co. (from Minnesota), Power’s Bike Shop (of Richmond, Virginia), and J&R Bikes from Florida. Major BMX brands expected this year include FLY Racing, GoPRO, DK Bicycles, Box components, Chase Bicycles, Supercross BMX, Ssquared / Answer products, Free Agent bikes, ODI Grips and Profile Racing. Distributors System Cycle, Western Power Sports and QBP also will have a presence.
The Grands event has been held, in various locations, since 1978. This year’s event opened with practice on Thursday and extends through Sunday. Organizers estimated the event fills nearly 15,000 room nights at regional hotels over five nights.