20 Years of the X Games
Congratulations X Games, you are all grown up. In 1995, you were just a twinkle in ESPN ’s eye. Originally, the network branded you as the Extreme Games – an event to fill airtime for the newly launched ESPN2. From your humble beginnings in Providence, Rhode Island to your 11-year stint in Los Angeles, fans across the world have watched you grow from showcasing competitive Street Luging and Sky Surfing to BMX Vert and Skateboard Big Air.
Your domestic and international events have thrilled us and surpassed everyone’s expectations. Most importantly, you reshaped the way the sports industry views action sports athletes and the business of action sports. Just think, wouldTony Hawk (900 at X Games San Francisco in Skateboard Vert), Travis Pastrana (performed a double backflip in 2006 Moto X Best Trick), Bob Burnquist (most decorated X Games athlete), or Ryan Sheckler (at 13 years old the youngest X Games gold medalist) be the same without you? The skate and surf industry alone has seen retail sales of equipment, clothes, and accessories top at $6 billion. Not to mention, the Olympics has taken notice by adding12 disciplines originally showcased in the X Games.
In 2014, your legacy continues in Austin, TX. The Circuit of The Americas (COTA) – the $450 million 1,500-acre multipurpose facility and 3.4-mile Formula 1 road racing course – is your new home for the next four years and its founder and chairman, Bobby Epstein, is thrilled to welcome you.
“There are a lot of people who have not been to COTA before. Just getting people out to see it for the first time, usually people are pleasantly overwhelmed,” said Epstein. “COTA is beyond just a Formula 1 racetrack – even though it can be the greatest race track in the world – with a world class venue for music. What we have created is the most unique sports and entertainment venue not built around the dimensions of a playing field. The venue has incredible flexibility and that is one of the reasons why the X Games will allow us to showcase the multifaceted uses of the Circuit of The Americas.”