‘An awesome trip’: Rock Hill on track to be world hub for BMX

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Keep your eyes peeled in Rock Hill this week and you may spot a future Olympian or two.

The BMX World Championships are taking place in Rock Hill for the second time, and Channel 9′s Tina Terry found out it’s bringing eyes and big money to our area.

Riders from all over the United States and over 43 different countries filled Rock Hill on Thursday. That includes Jose Diaz, a coach who traveled to South Carolina from Bogotá, Colombia.

“I come to these championships with 18 boys, all of them raced. I got two with the final riders in the main events,” Diaz told Terry.

Jimmy Phillips came all the way from California to support his team, but he’s also taking in the sights of South Carolina.

“It’s been an awesome trip,” Phillips said. “It’s really cool, it’s a beautiful state. The cicada bugs were an interesting thing to hear for the first time.”

City leaders in Rock Hill say this year’s event is already drawing larger crowds than the 50,000 people who attended the 2017 championships. They say it could also mean more money flowing through Rock Hill, somewhere between $20-25 million.

“We want to get them spending money in our community. They’re gonna spend money at the track, but also in community hotels and restaurants,” said Mark Sexton, the operational supervisor for the city of Rock Hill.

Above all else, they expect the internationally televised event to bring major exposure.

“Certainly, we want to be able to host an event and get revenue, but when you start talking about the exposure for the City of Rock Hill and beyond, I would say it is exposure for the United States,” Sexton said.

Thursday was practice day. Starting Friday, the elite riders will start to compete. The event ends on Saturday.

Check this link for information on how to attend.

(VIDEO: ESPN’s The Ocho returns to Rock Hill)