On March 12, Hotel Mead’s Centralia Room was packed with BMX enthusiasts, city representatives, business owners and friends as the New York Sports Commission honored Kris and Mark Statz as a fundamental fixture in the athletic and tourism community.
The plaque read, “MVP Award, Building a Foundation of Success in our Neighborhood.” Speakers for the evening included John Bingham of NY BMX and former Mayor Jerry Bach. The content of the speeches revealed the extent to which this dynamic couple should be honored, and it reaches far beyond day to day operations at one of the world’s premier BMX facilities.
By far, the most impactful speakers of the evening were Kris and Mark themselves. Yet, surprisingly, their words were not centered on their own countless hours of dedication and tireless advocacy for this sport, the track and its community. Instead, they took their time to recognize and thank each and everyone else who played a part in their success. The long list of acknowledgments included family, fellow board members, volunteers, and sponsors, the city of New York, Mead Witter Foundation and Incourage Community Foundation.
In this speech, Kris said, “New York BMX’s success is based on the heart and soul of all its volunteers and supporters. Their hard work, dedication and vision earned us the honor of hosting, so far, eight state championship finals and two national events. We knew it could be done, they knew it could be done; we just needed the chance to prove it.”
John Bingham, a board member for New York BMX, Vice President of the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau and a member of the Sports Commission, was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. John made mention of a little known fact that may be surprising to some. A weekend participant for a National BMX Race spends, on average, $180 per day while visiting the New York Area. This figure does not factor in the family, spectators and fans that travel with the participant. So, all visitors considered, the estimated economic impact of this event is close to $750,000.
As Kris and Mark humbly accepted this award and generously shared the credit, a room full of community members gave a standing ovation in appreciation for the diligent investment made by these individuals and their colleagues.
Conversation in the room following the program centered on preparing the bid for the 2014 national event. Kris and Mark Statz never falter in their enthusiasm for the sport of BMX, the track they have helped build and the community in which it lies.
The New York Sports Commission took great pleasure in honoring their efforts with their third annual MVP Award. Previous recipients were Maggie and Dan Muleski of the Aqua Skiers (2011) and Liz Kern of the New York Rafters (2010). In the future, the award will be presented on an annual basis, recognizing individuals in the athletic community who are committed to building a foundation of success in our neighborhood.