Governor Ralph DLG. Torres and Lt. Governor Arnold I. Palacios announce that the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs (DCCA) has been working closely with the Marianas Racing Association (MRA) to recreate a motocross park for the CNMI.
Senior Policy Advisor Robert Hunter, who continues to oversee DCCA, says there has been a lot of renewed interest in motocross over the last several years. He noted that the DCCA has been meeting with the MRA and the Department of Public Lands (DPL) to look for avenues to bring this activity back and provide a venue for the community to safely participate in and to watch.
“Our government and MRA have looked at a number of different areas for the park, including the former People’s Park location at Wireless Ridge and other lots in the Marpi area. The former Cowtown footprint was used for nearly a decade for the motocross activities. It is an ideal site and we are now working on acquiring a temporary designation of the site to once again host a motocross park for events. Renewed interest in motocross has really prompted Governor Torres, Lt. Governor Palacios, and DCCA to work with MRA to bring this back,” said Hunter.
“We appreciate the partnership with the DCCA and the effort to bring this sport, that is growing in popularity once again, to the public and provide a venue for everyone, participant, enthusiast, and audience alike to enjoy the sport,” said MRA President Steve Sablan.
Sablan added that there is a substantial number of participants and audience at their temporary-use track that is set up next to the Marpi Pool.
“While we are extremely appreciative of DPL’s permission to temporarily utilize the site, the sport would be better served by a site that can accommodate a better track and a better audience viewing experience. The old Cowtown site, that once served as a motocross park is perfect for this,” he said.
Hunter notes that the DCCA had partnered with the MRA in the past, facilitating the motocross park at the former Cowtown site that was active for years.
“We really want to see this revived and we appreciate the assistance of the MRA in our effort to make this happen for the community. Governor Torres and Lt. Governor Palacios are also excited to see this happen again for the community and have thrown their full support behind this. The motocross has a long history in the CNMI and played a significant role in our community sports-mix for over four decades. It would not be a leap to say that motocross runs in our island blood, for those of us who grew up here in the 1970s through the 90s. These are quality family events that will be free of charge to the whole community,” he said.
“The people of the CNMI have always loved and supported this type of racing since the mid-1960s when exhibitionists came to Saipan and performed at the old Susupe baseball park where the Joeten-Kiyu library is located today,” Sablan said.
“As the president of the MRA, I am grateful for the partnership in the effort to see a motocross park once again and hopeful that the community be granted the request for the use of the property, so that we can realize a track and resume our activities, increase the awareness of the need to practice safe operations of all off-road vehicles, and provide our community with an exciting activity to participate in and watch,” he added.
In the meantime, the public is invited to watch the motocross practice runs at the temporary Marpi Pool-area track on Sundays. If you are interested in learning, participating in, or getting involved with the MRA motocross activities, you can contact MRA Vice-President Cuki Alvarez at 783-4662 or MRA secretary Eleanor Cepeda at 483-0113.
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