Starting May 14, 2013, Circuit of The Americas and ESPN will collaborate for the next 4 years to host the North American X Games in Austin, TX, beating out potential host cities, Chicago, Detroit and Charlotte.
Here’s the big news from ESPN today, July 17, 2013, with the official announcement of the next location of the Summer X Games host city. The X Games will be leaving Los Angeles, CA after their final events from August 1-4, 2013.
ESPN, the leading action sports content provider and creator of the X Games, has chosen Austin, Texas, as the next North American host city for the X Games. The Texas capital will host an X Games summer event for four years beginning in May 2014 at the new 1,500-acre Circuit of The Americas sports and entertainment complex in southeast Austin. The selection follows a highly competitive eight month long process in which Austin ultimately edged out Chicago, Detroit and Charlotte, N.C.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with the Circuit of the Americas to bring the X Games to Austin in May,” said Scott Guglielmino, sr. vice president, ESPN programming and X Games. “We believe that Bobby Epstein, his team and the fantastic COTA facility provide a unique opportunity to grow the X Games in a new region of the country and in a city that has a proven track record of embracing big events. Throughout the site selection process we were very fortunate to have great interest from Chicago, Charlotte and Detroit. Ultimately, the combination of resources, support and fit brought us to Austin and we couldn’t be happier.”
“It’s an honor to be selected by ESPN to host this prestigious international competition, and the City of Austin welcomes the thousands of competitors, fans and media representatives that will join us for the summer edition of the X Games next year,” Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said. “The X Games celebrate fitness, courage and individuality—traits greatly valued by our community—and we look forward to showing the world all of the wonderful things Austin has to offer.
We also want to commend the three other cities in contention, Charlotte, Chicago and Detroit, for their excellent campaigns and a hard-fought competition.” Red McCombs, another of the Circuit of the America’s founding partners, added, “This is a great day for the State of Texas, and we’re proud that Circuit of The Americas could help lure an event of this magnitude to its capital city of Austin. We created Circuit of The Americas to be a year-round destination for the best sports and entertainment properties in the world, and this shows the natural evolution of our business.
The ESPN X Games will benefit the regional tourism industry and add to Circuit’s growing reputation as a significant economic engine and jobs generator for Central Texas.”
X Games Austin will be held May 15-18, 2014. The full schedule of X Games 2014 events will be announced in the near future. It is anticipated that X Games Austin will see the majority of the competition hosted at the Circuit of The Americas, though some of the event will be hosted in downtown Austin as well. More details about the venue and sports disciplines will be shared in the weeks ahead.
Like other events on the X Games schedule, X Games Austin will be distinct and reflect the vibe and culture of the city, tapping into its rich music and cultural scene to surround the competition with a festival that highlights the intersection of sports and lifestyle that exists in action sports. To sign up for Austin X Games event updates and ticket information, visit www.xgamesaustin.com.
ESPN began its RFP (Request for Proposal) process for the new host of North America in 2012 as the existing agreement between Los Angeles partner AEG concludes in 2013. In January, ESPN announced 13 qualified cities interested in hosting the X Games in North America. ESPN engaged in discussions with the various cities as they assembled their proposals. All official proposals from cities interested in hosting an X Games were due on April 2 and the four finalist cities were officially announced later in the month.
X Games is nearing the end of its first year of global expansion and transformation, with events already held in Aspen, Colo.; Tignes, France; Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil; Barcelona, Spain and Munich, Germany. The six event schedule will conclude in Los Angeles August 1-4, where it will celebrate the role of Los Angeles in the growth of X Games during its 11-year run as host city. So far this year, more than half a million fans have attended X Games events.
X Games is also in the midst of an RFP process to host its North American winter event, following the final year of its current agreement with Aspen Skiing Company. Proposals from qualified cities in North America to host the winter version of the X Games were due in June, with a decision regarding the future winter event to be made this fall.