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San Jose Motocross Track Owner Forced To Shut Down Operations

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- After 50 years, the roar of motorcycles will soon fall silent at a South Bay motocross institution.

The lease for the motocross track at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds has run out and management is not willing to renegotiate a new one even though the track owner has offered to pay more rent and insurance.

"Everybody's angry and sad," said track operator Chris Stille of the reaction within the local racing community. "It would be nice if fairgrounds management and the supervisors could reconsider and give us a year or two years, and then end it. But, to suddenly to cut us off like this, it's tragedy."

In its heyday, the San Jose Mile drew riders from all over the world for competitions.

"I mean right where we're standing, I remember this being the bleachers of the Mile," said Rick Ryan, "And they had car races and all kinds of stuff. They keep shrinking it and taking more and more away. Now we don't have car races around here anymore."

Dorene Payne raced at the track and is among those angry with the fairgrounds decision.

"Why is that OK to take away all our history?" he asked.

Bjorn Viney lives 10 minutes from the track and is among the young pros who train at the facility.

"People think that having baseballs fields is better than motocross, but it's what we love and I don't know why you guys have to take it away from us," the 16-year-old said.

The fairground management did not respond to KPIX 5's request for a comment, but they told the San Mercury News earlier this week:

"The decision was made to not have motocross out here in the near future. The contract was up, management chose not to renew it, and that essentially was it."

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