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Published February 19 2012

Buffalo River Race Park on a race to impress

Glyndon, Minn. - There’s more to being on television than just showing up for the cameras.

Look at Buffalo River Race Park.

Park officials said last week that the facility has made $400,000 worth of modifications to host a three-day snocross race starting March 2, which will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.

“The (International Series of Champions), which are the pros, are the guys you see at the X-Games … and there are certain criteria,” said Brad Rivers, who is the park’s director of marketing and sales. “We were contractually obligated and improvements needed to be made.”

Rivers said the track added an indoor facility which is around 13,000-square feet.

The indoor portion will have seating for 2,000 people along with amenities ranging from a bar, concessions and a spot for snocross vendors to sell merchandise.

It will also include heating and air conditioning.

Second and third levels were also added, and Rivers said those are each 6,400-square feet.

Rivers said between the new indoor seating, already existing bleachers and additional bleachers, they are able to seat between 8,000 and 10,000 people during the snocross race.

“We also had to do things on the infield like put up lights,” Rivers said. “Nothing against Mother Nature, but we also had to get a snow machine. (Track owner Kevin Nathe) has already made 400,000 cubic yards of snow.”

Construction on the project started around September, transforming the track from a dirt oval off U.S. Highway 10 to a massive building with gray aluminum siding now shielding most of the track.

There is a chance people could notice the track even more when the snocross race runs during its three-day visit.

Rivers said these productions also bring items such as large video boards that can be seen throughout the entire park.

He said those are provided by the ISOC and advertisers.

“The great thing is you have a lot of real estate here,” Rivers said. “You have 50 acres here to work with. We’ve arranged a deal with the owners of the land west of the track to use that as a parking lot. We have a trolley bus on reserve too.”

Rivers who was hired by Nathe a few months ago, said the facility could see up to 4,000 cars at any time. He added that the park is thinking long term.

With the new amenities, Rivers said, there’s a possibility it could result in more fans coming out to the track throughout the year.

“The canvas (Nathe) has provided,” River said. “He’s living his dream to provide a platform for the thing he loves most.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found at slightlychilled.areavoices.com