Austin, Texas, beat out Chicago, Detroit and Charlotte, N.C., in a heated competition to host the Summer X Games in May. ESPN, which owns and operates the X Games, picked Austin on Wednesday, announcing a four-year partnership with the city's 1,500-acre Circuit of The Americas (COTA) sports and entertainment complex starting May 15-18, 2014.
Scott Guglielmino, ESPN's senior vice president of programming and the X Games, said in a news release that Austin's vibrant music scene and massive COTA complex provide the network an opportunity "to grow the X Games in a new region of the country and in a city that has a proven track record of embracing big events."
ESPN is reviewing potential hosts for the Winter X Games because its deal with the Aspen Skiing Co. ends in 2014. Proposals from potential hosts — which initially included Aspen; Park City, Utah; Quebec City; and a collaboration of California resorts around Lake Tahoe — were due in June. Park City tourism boosters in February pulled their proposal, which offered to host the Winter X Games in April instead of their traditional slot in late January.
Guglielmino said during a media conference call that his team would be focusing on Winter X bids now that the Summer X site was decided.
He identified only Aspen as a bidder, but groups in Quebec City and Lake Tahoe have publicly announced their pursuit of the Winter X Games. The Lake Tahoe Sports Organizing Committee proposes splitting the Winter X venues among two resorts, Squaw Valley on the northern end of the lake and South Lake Tahoe's Heavenly ski area.
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