Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy will host the Western Nationals in ISOC Racing's AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series on Jan. 9. The first-time event is one of nine nationals on the 2009-10 schedule and the only one west of the Mississippi.
"Adding Snocross to the growing list of action sports that Utah is hosting, which includes the Summer and Winter Dew Tours, Supercross, Red Bull Air Race and Red Bull Rampage, continues to showcase Utah as one of the premier action-sports destinations in the world," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said.
"Utah will receive significant benefit from this new event, providing an anticipated $3 [million] to 4 million in economic impact and national and international media exposure through its televised broadcast on Versus," said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.
The Western National will be the third national of the season. The first two events were the AMSOIL Duluth National in Minnesota and the Milwaukee Mile National. The versatile dimensions of Rio Tinto Stadium -- which has hosted major concerts, international and MLS soccer games and a monster truck show during its first year of operation -- allow it to become the first stadium of its type to host a Snocross race.
"Having another major sporting event showcasing Sandy and providing economic benefit to both our businesses and citizens is a terrific boost to our community in this challenging economy," said Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan.
The daylong, open-air event culminates with the main event, starting at 7 p.m. It will feature pro and semi-pro racing, freestyle shows and other finals from the day's qualifying racing. Tickets, pre-sale details and other event information are posted online at http://www.RioTintoStadium.com" Target="_BLANK">http://www.RioTintoStadium.com.
"We have enjoyed great success with a wide array of unique events already," said Rio Tinto Stadium President Bill Manning, a member of the Utah Sports Commission's Executive Committee.
"We built Rio Tinto Stadium with the idea of attracting exactly this kind of race and are very excited to host racers and fans from all over the country."
While the main attraction will be professional Snocross racers and freestyle athletes from across the country, regional race participants will be able to experience racing at a national event for the first time.
Before the main event, amateur racers from ISOC Racing affiliate circuits MWR and XMR will compete in various classes from beginner racers to highly competitive regional classes.
"For a number of reasons, picking Utah to run an ACSS National at Rio Tinto Stadium is an event our entire industry is excited about," said ISOC CEO John Daniels.
"The combination of the world-class venue, the avid Utah sports market and the opportunity to push our series out West, where there is a huge Snocross following, all combine to form the foundation for what we hope to make into an outstanding annual event."
Jan. 9 » Bear River Wildlife Education Center, Brigham City: A "Nature through Poetry" workshop is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open to all ages and family-friendly, the program will highlight reading and writing poetry as a means to better understand what we observe in the natural world.
Jan. 28-31 » Tonaquint Nature Center and Park, St. George: The seventh annual St. George Winter Bird Festival, presented by the Red Cliffs Audubon Society, will include presentations, kids' workshops, field trips, a photo contest, exhibits, sales and live birds. There will be additional evening programs at the BLM, Dixie State College and an evening banquet/keynote speaker at Best Western Abbey Inn.
The festival is designed for beginning and experienced birders. Admission is free, but there is a fee to attend the banquet.
For detailed information, go to http://www.redcliffsaudubon.org" Target="_BLANK">http://www.redcliffsaudubon.org or http://www.sgcity.org/birdfestival" Target="_BLANK">http://www.sgcity.org/birdfestival or contact festival chairwoman Marilyn Davis, 435-673-0996.
Upcoming Utah State Parks events
Jan. 9 » Wasatch Mountain State Park, Midway
Join the park naturalist from 10 a.m. to noon to learn the basics and the benefits of snowshoeing. Bring your own snowshoes or borrow a pair from the park. 435-654-1791
Jan.15 » Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, Vernal
Movie Night: View the comedy movie "Night at the Museum, Battle for the Smithsonian" in the museum lobby. The movie is free and is shown at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Bring a pillow, blanket or chair, but no food or drinks are allowed. 435-789-3799.
Jan. 16 » Hyrum State Park, Hyrum
Polar Plunge -- Freezin' for a Reason: Hyrum State Park hosts the 2010 Polar Plunge Saturday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m. to benefit the Utah Special Olympics. Participants donate $25 for the privilege of jumping into the icy water, all to benefit a great cause. Dress in a costume or come as you are. 435-245-6866.
Jan. 16 » Antelope Island State Park, Syracuse
Utah Wetlands: Join staff from Hogle Zoo from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Antelope Island Visitor Center to learn about Utah's wetlands and their importance in our every day lives. 801-721-9569.
Wasatch Mountain Club activities