A vacant field on Madras airport property will buzz with the excitement of motocross racing within the next year under terms of a lease approved Feb. 27 by the Madras City Council.
Madras MX LLC, which for the past five years has operated a motocross track adjacent to the Madras Speedway, on the northwest corner of the Madras airport property, was granted a renewable, five-year lease for 38.7 acres southeast of its current location.
Roby Leach, of Albany, president of the motocross company, told the council that his operation has outgrown its location on the south side of the 32 acres leased by the Madras Speedway.
Because of parking limitations at the site, the two organizations have not been able to schedule events on the same weekends.
Leach estimated that he holds eight to 10 events each year, with an average of about 130 riders per event -- twice as many as the track attracted five years ago.
Under terms of the new lease, which began March 1, Leach will pay a minimum of $6,300 per year for the property, plus rent of at least $208 per day, per event.
The project will include a motocross course, seating area, and announcer's tower on 3 acres of the property, with the remainder of the property to be used for parking "and other activities incidental to motor cross races," the agreement states.
The new motocross site will be located on the south end of the 2,100-acre airport property, along Birch Lane. On the north side of the 38.7 acres, the property must be fenced off from the North Unit Irrigation canal, the Madras Dragstrip, and the south end of the airfield.
Airport manager Rob Berg said that the move will benefit both Madras Motocross and Madras Speedway. "With the expansion of this project, they can both hold larger events at the same time without scheduling conflicts," he said.
"It's great for the airport, Madras and Jefferson County," Berg said, noting that motocross will bring many visitors to the county.