Planning a trip to Austin in the next four
years? Did you know that, starting in 2014,
and continuing through 2017, the Summer
X Games will be 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.
The 2014 Summer X Games will be held
June 5-8 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 downtown Austin.
X Games officials were looking for
something a little different this year 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
It seems the feeling is mutual: thousands of
Austin supporters staged a rally to
welcome ESPN executives to the capitol
in June, 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 Steve Sexton, CEO
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
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.
Next year, X Games officials are hoping to
expand the event; they expect around
100,000 spectators from all over the
country—indeed, from around the globe—
to the 2014 summer games.
In addition to sports, the X Games also
hosts musical entertainment. Past performers
at X Games events have included 50 Cent
and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. 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.
JUNE 5 - 8, 2014