Extreme Sports Games News

Charlotte hoping to become new Summer X Games host in 2017

The X Game announced on Tuesday that the summer games will not be returning to Austin for 2017. That leaves a window open for Charlotte — an opportunity Charlotte Motor Speedway is looking to grasp.

“We’ve been honored to call Austin home of the X Games since 2014 and are proud to have run world-class competitions for athletes, hosted amazing musicians for our fans and sponsors together with the Circuit of The Americas,” X Games vice president Tim Reed said in a release. “… Looking to the future, we’re enthusiastic to identify the next X Games host city and continuing to improve and bring the franchise to new locations and fans.”

CMS has a massive property with a 1.5-mile track surrounding it, perfect for a complete Summer X Games complex. On top of the NASCAR track, the zMax Dragway offers enough room for Big Air competitions and other events on the ESPN stage.

The X Games toured both properties in 2013 before ultimately deciding on Austin as the location. Charlotte was also in competition with Detroit and Chicago when it lost the previous bid.

“They went with Austin last time and we were close (to getting the games),” CMS CEO Marcus Smith previously told the Charlotte Business Journal. “We learned a lot in the process and, given another opportunity, I think we can put together a winning bid.”

One issue for Charlotte hosting the event would be the turnover if dates for races and the X Games remain the same. Charlotte hosts both the Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 during the final two weekends of May. This year’s Summer Games in Austin runs from June 2-5, which would leave CMS only one week to change from a NASCAR track to X Games host.

ESPN reports the X Games reached more than 440 million homes in 196 countries with a $102.3 million economic impact for Austin in 2015. That’s a massive boost in comparison to the $25 million benefit for Aspen during the 2015 Winter X Games.

With nine different host cities for the games over the last 20 years, Charlotte might not hold the X Games for a long length of time. But if the impact remains in excess of over $100 million, just two or three years would be critical for North Carolina as a whole.


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