Motocross riders sad track at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds is scheduled to close Jan 4. Rent was raised & county needs more revenue. But there still may be hope. Story 5 & 6pm @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/Sbcxip8JO0— Janine De la Vega (@JanineDLV) December 28, 2017
"It's just an amazing family sport, I've had the best times with my son here than anyplace else," said Mike Witt, a motocross rider from San Jose.
But, the days may be numbered for the motocross track at the fairgrounds, which is set to close for good in a week. Hundreds of families are sad about the decision, but there may be hope.
The track is the only one in San Jose and is used by beginners, senior and aspiring pros. The next closest track is an hour away in Livermore.
"This track is close, convenient," said Michael Fontana, one of the aspiring pros, " a lot of memories. All my friends, we grew up coming here."
The track sits on on county-owned land and is operated by 408MX.
Chris Stille, who owns 408MX, says he can't afford to keep it running. Another investor, however, may be able to step in.
"We were told the rent increase would be 10 percent this year, and they doubled the insurance requirements, which the new investor is willing to take on," said Stille.
The County Fair Management Corp. told Stille last week, he says, that it was choosing not to have motocross on the land.
Since then, a new executive director, Abe Andrade, has taken over. And, says FMC Marketing Director Steve Stagnaro, Andrade was not aware a new investor was interested until today,
"He may have someone who wishes to invest," says Stagnaro, "and if that's the case, we're open to talking to the new investor if they would like to talk about the operation continuing."
Stagnaro says there is a big demand for the land, and right now, the county uses it to generate revenue needed to maintain the buildings currently on site.
"It's news to me they want to negotiate, and we're willing to and we're hopeful," said Stille.
Stille plans to set up a meeting with FMC. A farewell ride is planned for Jan. 4, but he is hopeful this won't be the end.