MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – More than 100,000 action sports fans are expected to attend the X Games this weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The competition in downtown Minneapolis starts Thursday, and organizers promise it will be four days of high-flying extreme sports, fashion, art, and music.
On Wednesday, competitors made practice runs inside U.S. Bank Stadium, which has been transformed into jungle of plywood ramps and dirt-packed jumps.
BMX Best Trick Gold Medalist Kyle Baldock, of Australia, was one of the competitors getting a feel for layout.
“Not training any differently,” he said at a news conference. “I just go out there, drink a monster before I hit and just go as HAM as I can.”
The athletes in the competition are from all over the world, including a few from Minnesota.
Skateboarder Alec Majerus, of Rochester, said he’s looking forward to competing in front of the home crowd.
“It’s going to be epic to have all that support,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”
While the Harley Davidson Flat Track Race will take place at the Mall of America, all the other X Games events will happen at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Many competitors, like Moto X racer Jackson Strong, say the home of the Vikings accommodates action sports well.
“There’s not many stadiums that can facilitate what they have got here,” Strong said. “We are just stoked not to be in the wind.”
BMX Big Air competitor Colton Satterfield added that having the event indoors at U.S. Bank Stadium brings the competition to another level.
However, the crowds descending on downtown Minneapolis will come at a cost to already overwhelmed and weary motorists.
Many of the streets around U.S. Bank Stadium will be shut down for the next four days, which is likely to compound existing road construction and traffic problems in and around the city.
However, if you want to ride your skateboard to the X Games, they will let you check it for free at the door.