ESPN announced in late April that the Summer X Games will finally make a move from its long run in Los Angeles, California to one of four new locations. In the running are Detroit, Chicago, Charlotte, and Austin, all vying for the title of home city for the games, which will span three years starting in 2014. Cities began to compete for the spot in October of 2012, with proposals due April 2. It was then narrowed down to nine cities, which is when the interview process began, bringing the number down to four. The winning city will be announced by August.
“The X Games have grown significantly and has been enjoyed by millions of fans over the past 10 years in Los Angeles,” said Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president, programming and X Games in the news release. “Our partners AEG and the city of Los Angeles have been instrumental in our success. As we embark on a year of significant global expansion and transformation for X Games in 2013, we are excited about the potential each of these cities bring, and look forward to identifying our next host city for the X Games.”
Detroit, Michigan was the first city visited last month, where the bid’s organizers, Kevin Krease and Garret Koehler, showed ESPN officials around the city, attempting to leave a lasting impression that would give their city the vote. Some of the locations the games would be held at include Ford Field, Hart Plaza, Joe Louis Arena, Roosevelt Park, and Belle Isle, among others. During ESPN’s visit, a party with approximately 5,000 attendees was held in Campus Martius Park in the city’s downtown complete with a performance by Mix Master Mike, a DJ for the Beastie Boys.
“It’s just so impressive,” ESPN Senior Director of Content Strategy for the X Games Deane Swanson said at the party, according to The Detroit News. “The fact that this event was pulled together in a short amount of time, it shows the amount of passion this city has for hosting the event.”
According to an ESPN statement, “Detroit has been the most vociferous in its desire to host the games.” Check out Detroit’s bid for the X Games embedded below.
Chicago, Illinois was the next stop, with ESPN officials guided by organizers from the Chicago Sports Commission. The United Center would be the main location for the games to be held at.
The ESPN crew then visited Charlotte, North Carolina this past week. Organizers surprised ESPN officials with 17-time X Games medalist and NASCAR driver Travis Pastrana making an appearance, offering rides to those visiting.
“Charlotte is where so many motor heads are, so many race fans, the guys that love competition. So I think it would be crazy for X Games to not come to Charlotte, honestly,” Pastrana said in a statement.
The crew is now in Austin, Texas, the last of the cities to be visited. The Circuit of the Americas would be the primary X Games location, which houses the Austin360 Amphitheater, promoted by locals as a way that music could be implemented into the event. Organizers have a rally planned where X Games sports will be exhibited, showing ESPN how applicable the location is.
The monetary benefits of hosting the X Games are no secret to the bidding cities–Los Angeles brought in approximately $50 million in annual economic activity since it began hosting the X Games, according to a 2010 economic income study completed by Micronomics Inc.
Before Los Angeles became the home city, the X Games moved around the country since its first event in 1995, hosted in locations such as Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, where it was referred to as the Extreme Games. Also this month is the due date for proposals from North American cities that want to host the Winter X Games, which began in California in 1997 and has since been housed in Aspen, Colorado since 2003. The contract with Aspen will end following the 2014 games.