ESPN announced today that Charlotte is one of four cities being considered to host three years of the summer version of the X Games beginning in 2014. If selected, a majority of the action sports competitions, which range from skateboarding and BMX to Rally Car and Moto X, would be hosted at different venues within the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex.
“We're honored to be one of four finalists in consideration to host the X Games in 2014 and beyond,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “In many respects, Charlotte Motor Speedway was one of the original action sports venues, having hosted world-class NASCAR and NHRA events that have drawn the attention of international audiences for more than 50 years.
“These events combine extreme action sports entertainment with the ESPN brand for more than 100,000 fans on site and tens of millions watching worldwide. Like the annual running of our NASCAR races or last year’s Democratic National Convention, the X Games would bring a tremendous spotlight to the greater Charlotte region and the great state of North Carolina.
“As we move forward in the selection process, working with our business and tourism partners from across the region, we look forward to showing the ESPN selection committee what makes Charlotte the best fit for years to come.”
To help with any news coverage surrounding today’s announcement, here are some facts about X Games:
• X Games (originally known as the Extreme Games) were first held in Rhode Island and the summer of 1995. Two years later, ESPN added the Winter X Games;
• The 2010 X Games, hosted by Los Angeles, had an economic impact of at least $50 million, according to a 2010 study by the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission;
• In 2010, ESPN broadcast 31 hours of original content live, reaching all 50 states, 175 countries and more than 380 million households around the world, according to the study;
• Several notable X Games athletes call North Carolina home, including Rally Car driver Dave Mirra and BMX biker Rob Darden, both from Greenville, and skateboarder Dan Murphy, from Raleigh.
ESPN is expected to name the host city later this summer. In addition to Charlotte, other cities under consideration are Austin, Texas; Chicago and Detroit.