Minneapolis will host the X Games this year for the first time ever.  That’s right — from July 13th through the 16th U.S. Bank Stadium will be the place to be to see flips, tricks, and I can only assume a great number of ads for energy drinks.You may not remember, but a couple decades ago was a time when everything was neon green and brought to you by the letter X.  I believe The X-Files (AKA the television show that introduced us to Gillian Anderson and caused a huge spike in UFO sightings) is to blame.  Back then, everything promised to be “extreme.”  Somehow even Fruit Roll-Ups managed to be “extreme.”  Looking back, it was all rather odd, but the internet was painfully slow in those days and we had to entertain ourselves somehow.

It was this bold era that spawned the X Games, first held in Newport, Rhode Island in 1995.  Since then, the event has been held annually in a variety of locations, though obviously none as extreme as the Twin Cities.  Hosting the games gives locals the chance to attend something new and is sure to draw a variety of visitors to our fine cities.  No matter how the athletes perform, that alone is a win-win.

What do we have to look forward to, you ask?  Well, the summer X Games focuses on three sports: skateboarding, BMX, and motocross.  Two hundred athletes will compete in events such as BMX Street, Skateboard Big Air, and Harley Davidson Flat-Track Racing.  If you are a fan of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, dream of riding cross country on a mean hog, or are just looking for inspiration to be a little more daring in your regular life, then this is the sporting event for you.  (Sadly, pogs are not included as an extreme sport, which seems disingenuous to the X Games’ roots.)  The majority of the events will take place over the weekend, with both Saturday and Sunday featuring all three sports.  Personally, I am most excited to see the Women’s Skateboard Park Final, scheduled for Saturday the 15th at 7:30 PM.  Power to the female athletes!

The four day event also includes musical performances by A Day To Remember, Flume, and Atmosphere. The musical performances will not be televised.  Be there or miss out!

“I’m sold,” you say.  “What is this experience of a lifetime going to cost me?”  I’m happy to report that one day general admission tickets start at an affordable $20.  The most luxurious “XIP” package costs $750 because it includes booze and a behind the scenes tour, but there are a range of price points in-between.  If you don’t feel like leaving the house, not to worry — the games will be broadcast on ESPN.  You can show your local pride by tuning in and desperately searching for your house during blimp shots of the city.  If you are sad to discover that you’ll be out of town for summer vacation and missing the games altogether, don’t cry for too long: Minneapolis has the honor of hosting the X Games next year, too!


By Liz Walker