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Afyonkarahisar hosts prestigious Motocross World Championship

Afyonkarahisar hosts prestigious Motocross World Championship Türkiye's Afyonkarahisar continues its legacy as a premier host of the World Motocross Championship, showcasing thrilling races (AA Photos)
By Anadolu Agency
Jul 10, 2024 11:47 AM

Turkish Motorcycle Federation (TMF) head Bekir Yunus Ucar stated that Afyonkarahisar is now globally recognized for hosting the Motocross World Championship (MXGP).

Ucar spoke to an Anadolu Agency reporter ahead of the September edition of the World Motocross Championship in Afyonkarahisar, saying, “We are excited and diligently preparing to host the Motocross World Championship for the 7th time in Afyonkarahisar.”

He added, “Last year, we earned the distinction of hosting the longest-running international sports event in Türkiye under the auspices of the Presidency. We continue to build on this achievement with another edition.”

Emphasizing the city’s association with the championship, Ucar stated, “Afyonkarahisar has truly become renowned worldwide as one of the distinguished cities where the World Motocross Championship takes place. When you search Afyonkarahisar on search engines in different countries, it comes on top, not for thermal spas, sausage, gastronomy, or marble, but as the city hosting the Motocross World Championship.”

Highlighting the importance of sustainability, Ucar noted, “For Turkish sports, the Motocross World Championship holds significant meaning and value in terms of sustainability. It holds the title of the longest-running international sports event hosted in our country. When you host an event in a location for a long time, its value increases significantly, and interest grows. The Motocross World Championship has now become one of the flagship events in sports tourism.”

Ucar underscored that the championship contributes greatly to the promotion of both Afyonkarahisar and Türkiye, mentioning that MXGP is broadcast live in 186 countries and reaches an audience of 1.8 billion through social media interactions.

Attendance and economic impact

Regarding the audience’s interest, Ucar stated, “In our first race, we hosted the event with around 3,000-5,000 spectators. Through additional activities alongside the races and efforts targeting local and nearby city residents, we have significantly increased this number. Last year, 480,000 people entered and exited our event area throughout the entire organization.”

Ucar mentioned that Afyonkarahisar hosted approximately 5,000 to 6,000 international guests within the scope of the championship, with significant interest from neighboring provinces.

Economic boost

Highlighting the economic impact on the city, Ucar noted, “During the MXGP week, there was an 830% increase in credit card expenditures.”

Ucar invited all sports enthusiasts to the Afyonkarahisar stage of the 2024 World Motocross Championship scheduled for Sept. 7-8.

Potential in youth development

Addressing Türkiye’s athlete pipeline in motocross, Ucar stated, “We held the second leg of the Türkiye Motocross Championship in the Gonen district of Balikesir. At the motocross starting gates, we could accommodate a maximum of 40 athletes, but we had more child athletes than the gates in the championship. This is what we value the most. Athletes aged 5-14 represented 51%-52% of the total participants, signifying significant potential for the future.”

Last Updated:  Jul 10, 2024 11:47 AM