Saturday, May 25, 2013

Charlotte's Bid for the X Games Ramps Up

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/25/2013 No comments
Last month, ESPN announced that Charlotte was one of four finalists for cities to host the summer X Games for three years beginning in 2014. The other three cities being considered are Austin, Chicago, and Detroit. If Charlotte is selected, the majority of the extreme sports competitions would take place at the racing complexes at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In recent weeks, speedway officials have ramped up (see what I did there?) excitement around the possibility by launching an official website, social media accounts, and making appearances at popular Charlotte events.

This rendering shows what an X Games ramp could look like inside the zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photos credit:

ESPN launched this annual event in 1995 as the Extreme Games, held in Providence, Rhode Island. Two years later it was rebranded as the X Games and relocated to California, where the bulk of its run has taken place over the years. The X Games have grown significantly during the past decade and has helped many of its competitors become superstar athletes. The games now feature nearly 20 competitions in four categories: BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, and Rally Car.

According to a study by the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission, the 2010 X Games in Los Angeles had an economic impact of at least $50 million (stats from study provided by CMS). The study also shows that in 2010, ESPN broadcast 31 hours of original content live during the games, reaching all 50 states and 175 countries. So, this would bring national and international attention to Charlotte, would be a huge benefit to the local economy, and it would be another boost to Charlotte's reputation as a great city to host large events.

Charlotte Motor Speedway, of course, is in the midst of hosting several days of events during its busiest schedule of the year, with this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race, which comes after last weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race. ESPN and X Games officials are scheduled to visit Charlotte June 4 and 5 as part of their decision-making process, and they're expected to announce the chosen city this summer. I wonder if our connection with ESPNU and the recently announced SEC Network will carry any favor?

Fans showing support for X Games Charlotte at a recent Alive After Five event in Uptown.

You can get all the latest info and support the efforts for Charlotte's X Games bid by visiting:
The speedway has also created this promo video:


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