Sarnia will be one of four stops on the inaugural Canadian National Arenacross Tour, thanks to a Florida-based company with a local connection.
Motocross racers will set up shop at Hiawatha Horse Park on the Golden Mile on Friday, Oct. 9 and Saturday, Oct.10 as the tour swings through Ontario, Alberta and B.C. from late September to early November.
“It’s the first time it will touch down on Canadian soil,” said Jetwerx International CEO Justin Thompson, part of a well-known Brigden-area motocross family.
“We’re really excited to be bringing it home,” he added, noting the new tour was 18 months in the making.
It’s patterned after a U.S. event that’s been operational in seven states the past 12 seasons.
Thompson said Sarnians will see top-notch American pro riders such as Jacob Hayes, Chris Blose and Bob Kiniry, along with Canadian favourites Colton Facciotti of St. Thomas and Cole Thompson of Brigden vying for a $60,000 purse.
Facciotti and Thompson finished one-two in the MX1 class at the Canadian Motocross Nationals in Walton, Ont. last month.
There will also be 20 classes of amateur riders pursuing $25,000 worth of trophies, prizes and awards.
“There is really no other sport that shows that much action in one little setting,” said Thompson. “Guys are doing 30-foot jumps in the air and 80 and 90 feet in length.”
He is not certain what kind of crowd to expect for the first-ever Sarnia show, but said previous arenacross events around the globe in similar-sized communities typically draw up to 5,000 spectators per night.
Doors open at 6 p.m. each evening, with racing beginning an hour later.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.arenacrosstour.ca.