Later this year at the site of the Tolan Playfield at I-75 and Mack, a multi-sport complex should be completed. It will be the second permanent indoor cycling velodrome in the United States.
The Detroit Fitness Foundation is leading this project. Their executive director Dale Hughes has designed and built more than 20 velodromes worldwide, including the 1996 Olympic Velodrome in Atlanta and the 2015 Pan Am Games Velodrome in Toronto. The project will also include outdoor improvements to the park including playground equipment, a picnic shelter and tables, fitness station, skateboard ramp, and horseshoe pits.
The complex, an air dome structure, will have three main components or “fields of play:” a world-class velodrome cycling track, running, walking and in-line skating lanes, and a multi-purpose infield and coffee shop/cafe. Once open, the complex will provide free access and programs including coaching and equipment for youth and seniors in the community. All other participation fees will align with the Northwest Activity Center.
The complex will provide activities for all ages, but also aims to create Olympians. Tolan Playfield was renamed in 1968 to honor Thomas Edward Tolan, Cass Tech graduate and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, who was the first African American man deemed the “World’s Fastest Human.”