Travis Pastrana Goes Door to Door; Nitro Athletes Weigh In
Travis Pastrana and Nitro Circus supporters joined Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides to go house to house this weekend around Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium after a planned Nitro show there was vetoed by neighborhood associations. The goal for Travis was to ensure that the residents of that community are fully informed about what a Nitro Circus show involves and to change their minds about letting us perform in this venue in his hometown. By all accounts, the day was a step in the right direction.
Prior to the outing, thousands of people weighed in via a Capital Gazette poll, which as of this publishing has more than 12,000 votes supporting Nitro (almost 10 times more than the number who voted against the show). But Travis and Mayor Pantelides know that the poll doesn’t matter if the people who actually live in that neighborhood aren’t swayed, which prompted the door to door. After all was said and done, Travis and supporters managed to garner 428 signatures, which is a huge effort by a small group hoofing it around in the snow. And, more importantly, the mayor estimated in a letter to Eye on Annapolis that the relevant neighborhood has 600-plus homeowners, so that 428 is potentially a sizable chunk of the people who matter most. Whatever the case, Travis and Mayor Pantelides concede that whatever the residents decide is binding.
As this story develops, we’re learning a little more about residents’ concerns. The list of initial objections had largely to do with the potential noise the show would cause. Part of Travis’ information campaign has been to point out that our show will be smaller and less noisy than a college football game, which is one of the things the stadium regularly hosts. One resident who supports Nitro said that some of our fans have taken to the community associations’ pages and left inflammatory comments, which is not going to help. We agree that this is not the way to get it done. We know we can settle the whole thing without any negativity, so as much as we appreciate the support, let’s make sure we’re making our case respectfully. Remember, these are people just looking out for their neighborhood; their intentions are good. The best thing we can do is specifically address their concerns and make sure everyone involved knows what Nitro means to the athletes and fans — and overwhelmingly that spirit is about positivity.
We talked to a couple Nitro athletes about the Annapolis show. The conversation turned to what Nitro is all about, in light of this surprising first for our live show, which has been touring for a decade around the world. Nitro BMX and rollerboard athlete Brandon Schmidt says, “The Nitro spirit is one of brotherhood, camaraderie, and a mutual goal of progressing action sports. It drives you to be better and help push those around you to be better.” BMX superstar Todd Meyn adds, “We are a big family with huge aspirations and determination to push action sports to new heights while motivating and inspiring not just the younger generation of action sports but everybody and anybody.”
We’re hoping for a positive outcome for the potential Annapolis show, and the mayor says if necessary the city’s February council meeting will address the situation. We’ll be following the story closely, obviously, so stay tuned.