MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The new home for the Minnesota Vikings is adding another major sporting event to an already busy list.
U.S. Bank Stadium is set to host the 2018 Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four for men’s basketball in 2019. Officials announced Wednesday that the X Games are coming to the Twin Cities for both 2017 and 2018.
A bid for the X Games was submitted back in May.
“We are so excited to host 2017 and 2018 X Games. It’s just amazing,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. “X Games will be the first large-scale event held here next summer. We think it’s going to be hard to find a better host moving forward.”
The summer version of the event features skateboarding, BMX biking and motocross racing, among other events.
“Nothing more exciting for us than coming to a new city. We’re fired up,” X Games Vice President Tim Reed said. “We have a lot of passion for the event we produce. Having it here gives us an opportunity to produce a really amazing event.”
Reed called the $1.1 billion stadium a “beautiful building.” He also cited the new, huge video boards and the common areas that can stage musical acts. Metallica and blink-182 have performed at previous X Games.
The 2017 X Games will be at U.S. Bank Stadium from July 13-16, and in 2018 they will be held from July 19-22.
It’s the first time the X Games have been held in the Upper Midwest since the games began in 1995. The event has been held in Austin, Texas, for the past three years.
Last year, the X Games drew over 100,000 fans and brought in $74 million for Austin, Reed said. Some 250 athletes compete in the four-day event, with an average age of 26 or younger, he said. Athletes are invited to compete in the games.
“I am beyond pumped right now because the X Games are coming to Minneapolis. Great cities find a way to set themselves apart from the rest when it comes to big events,” Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey said. “There will be 45,000 people per day attending these events. This is a major opportunity for our city.”
Several X Games athletes are Minnesota natives, like winter X-Gamer Levi Lavalee. You may have caught him in action before. LaValee joined other Minnesota athletes for the announcement.
“If you like the urban snowmobiling video we did this fall, you’re gonna love X Games,” he said.
The big announcement news gives the adrenaline-addict Lavallee a new kind of high.
“Now to have X Games in my backyard, in Minneapolis, you gotta be kidding me, this is amazing,” he said.
And amazing it will be, he says.
“This is gonna be a blast, I can’t wait to see you here next year.”
Local X Games athlete Alec Majerus says he is “super excited” to have the games in his hometown.
“It’s going to be influential for the young-ins to see this go down here,” Majerus said.
The event is expected to bring in 45,000 people per day.
Minneapolis has the event for two consecutive years and there are talks going on to extend it for more years to come.
Here is event information and a video on why ESPN chose Minneapolis.