RICHMOND, Va. – Monroe Park is no longer a dedicated fan zone for the UCI World Championship Races, and the sponsor recently pulled out with just over three weeks remain until tens of thousands of spectators pour into Richmond.
Monroe Park once designated as a fan zone, to be complete with a Jumbotron, but it is no longer listed as an official fan zone venue.
Some residents remember that the city spent nearly $75,000 to resurface sidewalks in that Monroe Park area.
Monica Callahan, a race organizer with Richmond 2015, said the park sponsor recently pulled out of the venue. Callahan added the sponsor is still participating but just setting up at another area along the race course.
She said while Monroe Park may not be labeled as an official fan zone, spectators will still have a great front row seat. Cyclists will race through Monroe Park almost daily during the world championship event.
“The spectator would not have been slighted from the vantage point perspective due to the fact that there isn’t a Jumbotron, Callahan added. “There will be portajohns there.”
“We just see this as an organic space where fans can still gather,” she added. “It’s a wonderful space with wonderful offerings to our visitors.”
Cycling junkies like Grant Fanning can’t wait for the next 25 days to pass.
Grant is pumped about world class cyclists racing through the streets of our capital city.
“Some people don't grasp the gravity of it all,” Fanning explained. “The UCI World championship is sort of like the Super Bowl for us -- to have it here in Richmond is amazing.”
“It’s an opportunity to experience something really awesome,” said Andy Stites with Carytown Bicycles. “Something that really showcases the city and showcases cycling."
Both men said they expect the fan experience to be amazing.