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They’re coming back. One of Rock Hill’s biggest sports events — ever — will return.

One of the biggest sports events ever to come to Rock Hill is coming back.

The city announced Friday morning the BMX World Championships will come to the city in 2024. Union Cycliste Internationale, the sport’s governing body, brought the championships to Rock Hill in 2017.

“These next few years will be full steam ahead,” Mayor John Gettys said in a video announcing the coming event.

UCI hosts the championship annually. The 2017 event in Rock Hill was the first in the United States since 2001. Sites since the first Rock Hill stop include Baku, Azerbaijan (2018); Zolder, Belguim (2019); Houston, TX (2020); Papendal, Netherlands (2021); Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France (2022) and Glasgow, Scotland (2023).

The Rock Hill BMX Supercross Track hosted UCI BMX World Cup events in 2015, 2016 and 2019. The 2020 BMX Supercross World Cup Finals arrive May 14-16, 2020.

The 2017 event brought 3,700 riders from 48 countries. More than 50,000 attendees came. City and county tourism officials estimate a the event had a $19.2 million economic impact.

The city BMX site is located at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center at Riverwalk. It’s run by the city parks, recreation and tourism department.

Gettys made the announcement at a busy time for city sports tourism. Rock Hill soon will be home to the Carolina Panthers headquarters and practice facility, he said, while the city’s new sports and event center in the Knowledge Park area will open this fall. Already that site has a Div. 1 college basketball conference with its tournaments scheduled there, and earlier this month the NCAA College Basketball Academy announced it’s coming next summer.

“There’s no slowing down,” Gettys said. “The world knows that Rock Hill is a leader in sports tourism, and competition lives here.”

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John Marks covers community growth, municipalities and general news mainly in the Fort Mill and York County areas. He began writing for the Herald and sister papers in 2005 and won dozens of South Carolina Press Association and other awards since.
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