Update: It's official: The X Games are coming to Austin. Read more here from KUT News.
Original post: Austin could be getting extreme in the summer of 2014.
The Circuit of the Americas announced yesterday that the 1500 acre racetrack and concert venue is on a list of four finalists to host the 2014 Summer X Games and enter into a three-year contract with ESPN, the event’s sponsor.
After 11 years in Los Angeles, the extreme sports competition has decided to end its run in Southern California. The city’s contract with AEG Live runs out at the end of this year, and X Games officials decided to allow a bidding process for cities across America. Out of the initial 14 cities attempting to secure the games, the short list has been narrowed to four cities: Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit and, of course, Austin.
The four cities have started a scramble show off their street (and vert) cred. Detroit’s launched an aggressive campaign on Twitter, even creating an impressive, nightmarish glimpse of the games, reimagined for the smoldering husk of the motor city.
Those in Charlotte have taken to social media as well, starting, well, a LinkedIn page for the event. While the LinkedIn page may inspire the button-down, pressed-slacks professionalism required of contract negotiations, it may not match the Mountain Dew-slinging, backside 180-ing ethos of the X Games. Charlotte Motor Speedway, the possible host of the games, could use the money, however – the raceway lost over a million dollars in the first quarter of this year alone.
Chicago, it seems, has rested on its reputation, rather than pushing a social media campaign to gain traction amongst the youngsters and X Games organizers alike. But, as one commenter on the X Games official announcement noted, the high-flying antics on a vert ramp in “The Windy City” may cause some safety concerns.
Austin's established a Facebook page and a Twitter account to keep locals in the know. And this wouldn't be Austin's first foray into the extreme: What's more intense than Wu Tang Clan's Method Man sliding down a snowboard ramp in the middle of Zilker Park? The occasion was MTV's short-lived Sports and Music Festival, back in 1997; thanks to the Austin Subreddit for unearthing the video below.
ESPN and X Games officials will visit Austin in about a month from June 3 to June 7. ESPN is expected to announce the winner at the end of the summer.