Texas Motor Speedway vies to host Summer X Games
01/17/2013 11:39 PM
01/18/2013 12:47 PM
Texas Motor Speedway is going to try to land the X Games.
The track announced Thursday that it will submit a bid for the summer part of the annual action-sports event, aiming to host it for a three-year run, 2014-16.
"ESPN knows what we deliver here," track president Eddie Gossage said. "We drew the biggest crowd to a NASCAR race in 2012, the biggest crowd to an Indy race outside the Indianapolis 500 in 2012, and we've drawn crowds the size of Woodstock to music festivals here.
"We've got the expertise on our staff. That gives us a leg up."
The games are at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The city has hosted the event since 2003, using venues like the Los Angeles Coliseum and Long Beach Marine Stadium.
Bids are due in early April, Gossage said.
The Rose Bowl in Pasadena and Long Beach are also expected to submit bids, along with two other motorsports venues -- Charlotte Motor Speedway, a sister track of TMS, and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, which opened last year for Formula 1 racing.
Texas Motor Speedway can seat 138,122 fans, and Gossage said it can host all of the competitions, which include motocross, rallycross, BMX and skateboarding.
"I attended every event at this past summer's X Games in LA, and it was one of the coolest events of my life," Gossage said in a written statement. "I've been fortunate enough to attend several Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, major bowl games and more. But the X Games was the most action-packed and over-the-top sports event I've ever experienced, and I know Texas Motor Speedway could be the perfect home for ESPN's X Games. Every athlete is a bright, colorful character, and I love that."
The X Games are held in August. TMS' race weekends are in April, June and November.
A city official welcomed the idea.
"I have been to the X Games -- I've been to the winter and summer -- and Texas Motor Speedway and Fort Worth are without a doubt a great fit for this event," said Merrianne Roth, vice president of marketing and communications for the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. "If you think about Fort Worth, the sports market, it's a huge market. And we're building a reputation with the youth market, with music festivals and events on the Trinity River.
"In all those ways, it's a good fit."
ESPN, which televises the X Games, said Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Montreal, New Orleans and Philadelphia are also qualified to host the summer event and are interested in submitting bids.
"It's smart on ESPN's part to see what different venues and communities can do to help them make it even bigger still," Gossage said. "These are the Olympic Games for today's younger generation."
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