The X Games, a biannual action sports competition organized by ESPN, is currently in search of new host cities for both its summer and winter events. Agreements between X Games organizers and the two current host cities are set to expire within the next two years, so organizers have set up a website in order for potential hosts to place bids. The bidding process involves an application and letter of intent. According to the website the X Games “will be awarded to cities whose bids best demonstrate their capacity to host the world’s premiere action sports event.”
The X Games was developed in 1995 by ESPN, as the first competition of its kind to featured action sports athletes in a variety of summer-based events. Winter X Games was added in 1997, with international events beginning the following year. According to the official website, “it’s been a fast and furious ride” since the event’s founding, and the X Games has helped “drive the action sports industry and athletes to unimaginable success worldwide.”
The X Games is currently partnered with AEG in Los Angeles, California for the hosting of the summer games. The agreement between ESPN and AEG is set to expire in 2013, and the X Games is seeking a new summer games host city for a three-year term: 2014, 2015, and 2016. For the winter games, the X Games is now partnered with Aspen Skiing Company of Aspen, Colorado. That agreement will expire in 2014, and the newly selected city will host the winter events for 2015, 2016, and 2017.
In a press release on the bidding site, Scott Guglielmino, senior vice-president for programming and the X Games, said that the event “has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, in large part due to the tremendous partnerships we have enjoyed in L.A. and Aspen. As we embark on a year of unprecedented global expansion for the X Games in 2013, now is the perfect time to explore potential sites in North America for future X Games events.”
Earlier this year, ESPN announced that it would be further expanding the X Games into the global market, in addition to their search for new host cities. The May announcement confirmed the date of the Los Angeles event (August 1-4) and added three additional summer events for 2013: Foz Do Iguaçu, Brazil (April 18-21); Barcelona, Spain (May 16-19); and Munich, Germany (June 27-30). The winter events were also announced, with the 2013 Winter X Games taking place in Aspen, CO (January 24-27) and Tignes, France (March 20-22). The added global events will form a six-event schedule beginning in 2013.
A recent impact report study found that the Summer X Games in 2010 added at least $50 million in “identifiable benefits to Los Angeles.” ESPN has relayed a slew of benefits gained by those two cities lucky enough to land the Summer and Winter X Games; primarily media exposure and the positive economic impact brought about by thousands of visiting fans.