MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — ESPN announced Friday that X Games Minneapolis 2020 will be canceled this summer due to COVID-19 concerns.

“The safety of the athletes, staff and spectators is our top priority, and we will continue to closely monitor the situation for all X Games events,” ESPN said in a statement.

The event was scheduled for July 17 through July 19.

Extreme sports have been putting Minneapolis on the map for the last three years. Matt Meunier, the director of Sports Minneapolis, says the X Games at U.S. Bank Stadium has been a huge money maker for downtown Minneapolis since 2017.

“It averaged about a $50 million economic impact report per year,” Meunier said. “It’s disappointing but it was definitely the right call.”

The X Games are a global event, not just for athletes but for fans too, which made this three-day event a huge deal for downtown hotels, restaurants and stores.

Last year, more than 100,000 fans attended the event at U.S. Bank Stadium, which featured the world’s top skateboarders, BMX bikers and Moto X riders. Meunier said fans came from all 50 states, Asia, Europe and South America.

Sports Minneapolis is hopeful they will make up for the loss in revenue in other ways.

“We have gotten a lot of mileage out of the X Games where hopefully it continues to lead to residual bookings in the future,” Meunier said.

X Games signed a four-year deal with U.S. Bank Stadium and this was supposed to be the last year it would be in Minneapolis. Meunier says they are going to continue having discussions with X-Games and hopefully bring the competition back here again someday.

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Marielle Mohs

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