ESPN and Aspen Skiing Company have reached a milestone agreement in principle that will keep the X Games in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. through 2019. After a comprehensive bidding process, ESPN chose to continue its long-term relationship with Aspen Skiing Company, already the longest-tenured X Games host city. Now in its 13th year hosting the premiere winter action sports event, by the end of the extension Aspen will have been home to the event for nearly two decades.
“For the last 13 years, Aspen/Snowmass has been a fantastic location for the Winter X Games and we’re excited about extending our stay in Aspen/Snowmass and continuing our great relationship with Aspen Skiing Company,” said Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president, programming and X Games. “While the level of interest from other locations was excellent, the opportunity to continue our collaboration with Aspen Skiing Company proved the most promising for long-term growth and development of the event.”
“It’s amazing how X Games has seemingly become part of Aspen/Snowmass’s identity over the years,” says John Rigney, vice president, sales & events, Aspen Skiing Company. “There’s a rich cultural history here and we’re fortunate to host many world-class events, but I can’t think of a single event that resonates so well with kids and young adults as X Games does – and that’s a win for our resort, and more importantly the sports we love. Our community is proud to collaborate with ESPN and we look forward to five more great years together.”
ESPN’s X Games Aspen 2014 will celebrate its 13th year in Aspen from January 23-26, 2014, with live coverage on ESPN and ABC. The premier winter lifestyle event will again showcase the talents of more than 200 athletes from across the globe competing for medals and prize money in the sports of Snowboard, Ski and Snowmobile. Snowboarder X and Snowmobile Long Jump will return to the X Games Aspen list of disciplines in 2014 after a brief hiatus.
In addition to the sporting competition, X Games celebrates the intersection of sports and music that exists in the culture of the X Games. In 2014, X Games Music Presents will return to downtown Aspen’s Wagner Park Jan. 25 and 26 with four globally recognized musical guests as part of the X Games Aspen 2014 event. International dance music superstar Tiësto anchors the event on Sunday, which also includes a set by Axwell, while Phoenix, and Matt & Kim take center stage on Saturday.
The concept of the X Games winter event originally rotated on a two-year basis, beginning with the inaugural event held in Big Bear Lake, Calif. in 1997 followed by sequential stops in Crested Butte, Colo. (1998-1999) and Mount Snow, Vt. (2000-2001) before calling Aspen home in 2002. The new agreement with Aspen Skiing Company follows on previous extension agreements made in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2013. By the end of the five-year deal, the X Games will have been in Aspen/Snowmass for 18 consecutive years (2002-2019).
The announcement means Aspen/Snowmass joins Austin as the two host locations of X Games.