The first Summer X Games was held in June 2014 at Circuit of
the Americas, known as COTA to locals. Just a 20 minute drive
southeast of downtown, COTA boasts 1,600 acres of space,
including a racetrack, sports complex, and park, which will host
most of the competitions. A few competitions will also be held in
X Games officials were looking for something a little different
when choosing a locale for their summer games; the games have
been held in Los Angeles for the
last 11 years. Senior vice president of ESPN Programming and
X Games, Scott Guglielmino, said
“When we got on the ground in
Austin...it felt right very quickly.
They shared a vision in terms of
growing this event.”
It seems the feeling is mutual:
thousands of Austin supporters
staged a rally to welcome ESPN
executives to the capitol, complete
with a makeshift vert ramp. The
executives were there to discuss
the city’s bid and get a feel for the venue. According to lead
management of COTA, hosting the X-Games will give Austin
the ability to build “a multi-dimensional entertainment and sports
Home to artists like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Willie Nelson, Austin
has long been known for hosting large live music events, like
Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. In fact, there are over
250 live music venues in the city. More and more, however, Austin
is making a name for itself by hosting large sporting events as
well. A relatively new facility, COTA opened its doors for the first
time for the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix in November of 2012
and a MotoGP motorcycle race in April 2013—events with many
similarities to X Games events.
Typical Summer X Games competitions include BMX Big Air,
Street Skateboarding, Moto X Best Whip, Mountain Biking, and
Rallycross. There are events for both men and women. The line-up
of competitions and competitors varies from event to event, so no
two games are exactly alike.
It’s no surprise that Austin’s laid-back, casual, young population
is excited to have an extreme
sporting event in their backyard.
X Games officials are hoping to
expand the event each year. Thousands of national and international
spectators will enjoy skateboarding
battles, daredevil stunt bikers,
gravity defying Moto X riders and
all of the hair raising competitions.
If it has wheels and can make you
gasp, it is at the X Games.
In addition to sports, the X Games also hosts musical entertainment. Come for the games but stay for the party! In all, more than
30 bands play at the event. What better way to spend all of that
built up rush from the competitions than to go jam with Luminox,
Black Pistol Fire, Cash Cash, Kanye West, Mac Miller, Gary
Clark Jr. and the Flaming Lips. Though musical performances
have never been the focus of the X Games, Austin’s diverse and
rich musical culture could provide the event with the perfect
opportunity to expand their live music line-up as well.
It looks like Austin and the X Games are a match made in heaven.
In 2014, the Summer X Games began it’s run as being hosted in
Austin, Texas. Austin beat out Denver, Chicago, and Charlotte,
N.C. for the honor of hosting the extreme sporting event of
worldwide fame and it will continue to host through 2017.
When we got on the
ground in Austin...
it felt right very quickly.
They shared a vision
in terms of growing