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 were first held in Austin June 5-8 2014 at Circuit of the Americas known as COTA to locals. Just a 20 minute drive southeast of downtown COTA boasts 1600 acres of space including a racetrack sports complex and park which will host most of the competitions. A few competitions are 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 out this event.”
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 president of COTA hosting The X-Games will give Austin the ability to build “a multidimensional entertainment and sports destination.”
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. Next year X Games officials are hoping to expand the event; they expect around 100000 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 entertainments. 2014’s event headliners included Kanye West Pretty Lights and the Flaming Lips. Though musical performances have never been the focus of the X Games Austin’s diverse and rich musical culture 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! Find out all about the Austin X Games in Realty Austin’s X Games Guide.