Xtreme International ice racing is returning to Pelham

Published 11:47 am Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

PELHAM –  Back in March, motorcycles and ice collided to create Xtreme International ice racing, and it’s just been confirmed that it will be returning in January of 2024.

Described as “pure adrenaline on ice”on its website, Xtreme International Ice Racing is a series of speedway bike races around an ice rink. Often referred to by the acronym, XiiR, X-treme indoor ice racing is one of the fastest-growing winter racing series. The sport officially debuted at the Pelham Civic Center and Ice Arena earlier this year and by all accounts it was a tremendous success.

“It was fun for all ages and for people from a variety of backgrounds,” said Austin Bachman, the Civic Center’s Zamboni driver. “They were really excited, the kids were ecstatic about it, events like these are like superhero level to kids.”

Indoor ice racing started as a sport in 1975 in Michigan when a group of friends began tinkering with brakeless, gearless motorbikes and racing them across the ice. Since then the sport has only grown in popularity in both the northern United States and abroad. However, the sport has not gained much of a foothold in Alabama until recently, and several city officials are excited about what the sport offers the city of Pelham.

“Events like these bring in revenue to our local businesses as people eat, get their gas, shop for necessities, and more right here in Pelham before and after the event,” Director of Skating Susie Gray said. “It is important to bring as much family-friendly entertainment to our community as possible. People need outlets for togetherness and fellowship. Exposure to our amazing city for those who are coming for an event such as this helps our businesses and other local attractions.”

Xtreme International Ice Racing is set to return to Pelham on Saturday, Jan 20 and will feature races between longtime contestants and rivals Jay Maloney and Colby Long. Fans are encouraged to pay close attention to Pelham Civic Center and Ice Arena’s social media accounts for updates, inside information and other announcements as the event draws closer.

“It’s going to be an adrenaline-packed event that’s perfect for the whole family,” reads the announcement. “Mark your calendars because this is one you don’t want to miss.”