History of Winter X
The story of Winter X begins in 1996 with the event’s inception and has evolved into Winter X Aspen 2012. This is a brief timeline on how the X Games arrived as the world’s premier action sports brand.
Returning to Aspen, Colo. for the eleventh year, Winter X Games Aspen 2012 featured over 200 athletes competing in 19 disciplines. A record number of fans attended the event on Saturday, reaching the 45,600 mark and a new single-day attendance record for Winter X Games. The total on-site attendance for Winter X Games Aspen 2012 was 108,000 – the second highest in Winter X Games history and on day three of Winter X Games Aspen, the total attendance for all 16 Winter X Games events surpassed the one million mark. An overwhelming number of fans were watching at home as well, as the overall television rating across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC was 0.8, representing an average of 903,000 homes, a 32 percent increase from the previous year. The rating was boosted by the highest-rated and most-watched Winter X Games telecast ever on ESPN, a 1.4 on Sunday, Jan. 29. ESPN’s digital media audience for Winter X Games content during the four days of the event, January 26-29, delivered an average minute audience of 2,300 unique visitors, up 147 percent from 2011. The number of unique visitors to XGames.com during the four days of Winter X Games 2012 was up 75 percent from 2011. Users spent a total of 8.1 million minutes on the site, up 60 percent from 2011.
Winter X Games 15 eclipsed the previous attendance record, increasing by 36% from 2010. The 114,200 attendance is the highest Winter X Games attendance ever. Overall, 39.7 million people from the U.S. tuned in to the Winter X Games during the four-day event, which includes all live Winter X Games 15 telecasts. With more fan consuming the Winter X Games over our digital platforms, total hours of Winter X Games 15 viewed on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s 24/7 sports broadband network, was up 30% compared to last year. Through two weeks of Winter X Games 15 coverage (January 23-February 5), ESPN.com/Action generated more than 1.3 million visits and nearly 1.7 million video starts, up 47% and 11%, respectively according to Adobe. Additionally, page views on the mobile web site were up 211% compared to the same time period last year.
The second iteration of Winter X Games Europe returned to Tignes, France, again showcasing the top ski and snowboard athletes competing in SuperPipe and Sloepstyle. Over the three day event, 74,700 fans attended despite the snowy weather conditions, including a Winter X Games Europe record of 27,500 fans on Wednesday. ESPN3.com distributed 18.5 hours of content, including live streaming coverage of all eliminations and finals. Additionally and for the first time, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to televise 13.5 hours of tape-delayed, high-definition Winter X Games Europe content in the United States. Together with CANAL + Networks (CANAL +, CANAL + SPORT, Sport +) and ESPN International, Winter X Games Europe was broadcast live in France and distributed to 198 countries and territories worldwide.
In May, ESPN announced a significant milestone in its long-term plans to expand the X Games on a global basis. Beginning in 2013, ESPN announced they will produce six world-class X Games events around the world – two in the U.S. and four outside the U.S. ESPN is putting significant resources and focus behind this push for international expansion and will bring the most prestigious action sports competition to cities and fans around the world. A total of 130 hours of live TV coverage across the six X Games events on ESPN networks in the U.S. and around the world will be supplemented by coverage on digital platforms, including a year-round action sports website. Each X Games event will take on its own distinguishing character that will set it apart from the others, including the introduction of new sports and cultural elements based on the locations themselves.
X Games 17, held in Los Angeles July 28 - 31, showcased 200 of the world’s premiere action sports athletes from 20 countries competing in front of 141,500 fans – the highest attendance in seven years – at STAPLES Center and Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE. Fans were able to consume X Games content on more platforms than ever before, including 29 hours of content on ESPN digital platforms, which helped generate record multimedia growth and the largest digital audience ever for an X Games event. In addition, 37 million people tuned into 25 hours of live X Games television coverage across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN on ABC – up six percent from last year (35 million). Outside the United States, X Games content was delivered to more than 232 million homes and live to 192 countries and territories, including Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Israel, Latin America, Mexico, Middle East and New Zealand. ESPN also received record growth and engagement across all X Games social media platforms with the X Games Facebook page increasing nearly four-fold (up 284 percent) in “likes” and comments compared to the same days last year, X Games channel on YouTube achieving its most-trafficked week ever with video views up 192 percent from the same time period last year and the X Games Twitter name @XGames mentioned more than 20,000 times during the four days of competition and #XGames tweeted 69,000 times and reaching more than 21 million people.
Winter X Games 14 set new records with attendance and ratings. The new attendance record in Aspen with a total of 84,100 spectators over four days, beat the previous Aspen best of 76,150 set in 2007 – an increase of nine percent. For the third straight year, the Winter X Games was ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed, and more than 43 million viewers tuned in to watch on ESPN and ESPN2. The ESPN telecasts posted a 1.2 household rating, representing an average of 1,147,000 households. In addition, both ESPN and ESPN2 recorded their highest-rated and most-viewed individual Winter X telecasts (1.3 on ESPN and a 0.8 on ESPN2). ESPN and ESPN2 televised 24.5 hours of live high-definition programming. Out of 120 possible spots in Snowboard SuperPipe, Snowboarder X and Skier X slated to appear at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, spectators not only watched 54 percent of those athletes compete at Winter X Games, but watched history made as the following athletes made their marks on Winter X Games history.
The first Winter X Games staged internationally, Winter X Games Europe Tignes debuted in Tignes, France featuring men’s and women’s Snowboard SuperPipe and Slopestyle and Skiing SuperPipe and Slopestyle. Along with Canal+ and Tignes Resort, Winter X Games Europe welcomed 66,200 fans over three event days. Canal+ and ESPN360.com collaborated to produce 10 hours of original Winter X Games Europe programming distributed in France, the United States, and 166 countries and territories.
KIA X Games Asia returned to Shanghai, China for the fourth consecutive year. The twelfth X Games Asia event featured the new Skateboard and BMX disciplines of mini-MegaRamp™. The event was televised on Great Sports in Shanghai and across Asia on ESPN STAR Sports. On Saturday, May 29, KIA X Games Asia attracted a record-breaking number of fans with 24,300 throughout the day.
The X Games celebrated its sixteenth anniversary as 138,525 fans attended X Games 16 at STAPLES Center, L.A. LIVE and The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum July 29 – Aug. 1. A record number of fans consumed the extensive X Games 16 content featured across ESPN’s global distribution platforms, including television, online, iPods, mobile and more. During the four-day event, ESPN aired 31 hours of original X Games content, and for the first time, delivered nine hours of X Games content live in 3D. More than 35 million people in the United States tuned into the X Games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN 3D. Around the globe, X Games 16 was delivered to more than 382 million homes and aired live to 175 countries and territories. Total hours consumed on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s 24/7 sports broadband network, during X Games 16 was up 238 percent compared to 2009. The X Games page on Facebook grew by 50 percent and added over 100,000 new fans in the weeks leading up to the X Games. The X Games Channel on YouTube also had its most-trafficked week ever, with Saturday alone (July 31) registering a record nearly a half-million video views.
Winter X Games 13 returned to Aspen, Colo., where ESPN and Aspen Skiing Company announced an agreement that will keep the Winter X Games in Aspen/Snowmass through Winter X Games 16 in 2012. The viewers at home and 68,100 spectators in attendance witnessed the world’s top winter action sports athletes compete in a new 22-foot SuperPipe, as well as the addition of two new disciplines making their debut – Women’s Skiing Slopestyle and Snowmobile Nex Trick. The Winter X Games 13 telecast debut – Women’s Skiing Slopestyle and Snowmobile Next Trick. The Winter X Games 13 telecast was ESPN’s highest-rated and most viewed Winter X Games in history. The eight telecasts averaged 942,000 homes, up nine percent from 2008. Young male and people demos were up double digits from last year. Three of ESPN’s eight Winter X Games telecasts, delievered over a 1.0 rating this year – Friday prime time, Sunday afternoon and Sunday prime time. Sunday night’s 1.3 rating and 1,242,210 homes makes it the highest-rated and most-viewed Winter X Games telecast ever. ABC’s Winter X Games 13 telecast on Saturday averaged a 1.2 household rating and 1,376,481 households.
The eleventh edition of the KIA X Games Asia registered the best spectator attendance in the event’s history, with a record number of 54,500 fans at Shanghai’s KIC Jiangwan Sports Center over the four-day event. From April 30 - May 3, over 200 of Asia’s and the world’s best action sport athletes from more than 20 countries and five continents competed in BMX Freestyle, Aggressive In-line Skating, Skateboarding and Sport Climbing. In addition to the competitive events, Freestyle Moto X demonstrations were showcased by some of the world’s best riders.
The X Games celebrated its fifteenth anniversary as 111,200 fans attended X Games 15 at STAPLES Center and The Home Depot Center July 30-Aug.2. In addition to being the most viewed X Games ever, a record number of fans consumed the extensive X Games 15 content featured across ESPN and ABC’s global distribution platforms, including television, internet, iPods, mobile and more. Nearly 44 million people tuned into X Games on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC during the four-day event. This number is up 11% from last year’s total X Games reach of 39.4 million viewers. Skateboard Park replaced skatelite in its pool with concrete in a fast-flowing course modeled after some of the best concrete skateparks in the world.
Winter X Games 12 returned to Aspen, Colo., with 72,500 fans in attendance. The event was televised in high-definition for the first time on ESPN HD and ABC HD, and was ESPN’s most-watched in history with eight telecasts averaging 863,000 homes, up 17% from 2007. Many key demo groups (Men and Persons 18-24, 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54) also delivered their most-viewed Winter X Games, all up double-digits across the board from Winter X Games 11. Six out of eight telecasts were among the top ten most-viewed in Winter X history, including the final night and most-viewed Winter X telecast ever – Sunday night in 1,117,000 households. ABC’s Winter X Games 12 telecast on Saturday afternoon delivered a 1.3 household rating and 1,424,000 HHs, up 9% and 10% respectively from Winter X Games 11. Overall, ABC was up across the board among all people and male demos, with Men 18+ up 29% from last year.
On April 25-27, 2008, X Games Brazil was held for the first time in Sao Paulo at the world famous Sambodromo Do Anhembi. Many of the world’s top action sports athletes competed in the diciplines of Skateboard Street, Skateboard Vert, BMX Street, BMX Vert, Moto X Best Trick, and Moto X Step Up. ESPN collaborated with one of South America’s premier Sports Marketing agencies, Reunion Sports + Marketing, to organize the event. More than 15 hours of original programming were generated from X Games Brazil.
ESPN celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Asian X Games, when the event is held from April 30 to May 3, 2008 in Shanghai, China. More than 200 top action sports athletes, from 26 countries, compete for medals and prize money in five sport categories including Aggresive In-Line Skate, BMX, Skateboard, Sport Climbing, and Moto X.
X Games 14 is held in Los Angeles July 31 – August 3, 2008 and featured more than 200 of the world’s best action sports athletes competing for medals and 1.65 million dollars in prize money. X Games 14 produced more than 20 of hours of live coverage and original content. ESPN once again kicked off the celebration with a live global simulcast on night one, and continued with live coverage the entire weekend on ESPN, ESPN 2 and ABC. X Games 13 competitions and content were also featured on ESPN International networks, EXPN.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN 360.com, SportsCenter, and ESPN 2’s X Center.
X Games Mexico returns to Mexico City for a second consecutive year and is held at the Palacio de los Deportes on September 20 and 21, 2008. The event featured athletes competing in the diciplines of BMX Street, Skateboard Street, Moto X Best Trick, Moto X Freestyle, and Motox X Best Whip.
On November 19, ESPN announces Winter X Games 13 will for the first time feature new 22-foot SuperPipe for both ski and snowboard disciplines and two new disciplines will make their debut – Women’s Skiing Slopestyle and Snowmobile Next Trick.
Winter X Games 11 is held in Aspen, Colorado from January 25-28, where the new disciplines of Snowmobile Freestyle, Snowboard Best Trick Showdown and Mono Skier X, its first ever discipline for disabled athletes are added as medaled events. A record number of fans consumed the extensive Winter X Games 11 content featured across the many global ESPN and ABC distribution platforms, including television, Internet and iPods, while the 76,150 spectator attendance was the highest in the event’s six-year history in Aspen and a 110% increase from 2002 (the first Winter X Games in Aspen). ESPN averaged 734,000 households in prime time – its most-viewed Winter X average ever. On the final day of Winter X Games 11, the Sunday primetime telecast (1/28/07) was ESPN’s most-viewed telecast in Winter X Games history with 925, 377 households and the highest-rated Winter X Games telecast since 1997.
From May 3-5, 2007, the KIA X Games Asia is held for the first time ever in the People’s Republic of China at Shanghai’s KIC Jiangwan Sports Center in what was the first of a three-year deal to hold the event in China. In front of a three-day attendance total of 33,900 spectators, more than 200 of the world’s top action sports athletes from more than 20 countries and five continents competed in multiple disciplines, including Aggressive In-Line Skate, Skateboard, BMX Freestyle, Sport Climbing as well as a Moto X demonstration.
X Games 13 is held in Los Angeles August 2-5, 2007 and adds three new disciplines of Moto X Racing, Women’s Surf, and BMX Big Air to its sport lineup. X Games 13 produced more than 14 hours of live coverage on ESPN, ESPN 2 and ABC. Starting with the kick off of the first ever X Games global simulcast, X Games 13 competitions and content were also featured on ESPN International networks, EXPN.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN 360.com, SportsCenter, and ESPN 2’s X Center.
The first ever international X Games in Mexico takes place September 7-9, 2007. The inaugural X Games Mexico, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, is held at the Palacio de los Deportes and features the world’s best athletes in the diciplines of BMX Vert, Skateboard Street, Skateboard Vert, and Freestyle Moto X.
X Games Dubai, presented by Mountain Dew, returns to the United Arab Emirates for the third consecutive year and is held December 6-8, 2007. For the first time in Dubai, the event transitions from a demonstration to a competition as medals and prize money are awarded to the athletes.
Winter X Games is held for a fifth consecutive year in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., and from Jan. 28 through Jan. 31 celebrates its 10th anniversary. The event airs on a wide variety of media platforms within ESPN and ABC Sports, from nightly X Center highlight shows to video clips on iPod to daily Mobile ESPN content and more. Average television viewership on ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2 sets an all-time record with 747,130 households, exceeding last year’s household average by 45 percent. ESPN and Aspen/Snowmass announces that Winter X Games will remain in Aspen/Snowmass through 2010. Additionally, ESPN X Games embraces 28 Olympians who excelled at Winter X Games 10 just weeks before they left for Torino.
From May 12-14, 2006, X Games Asia presented by Kia returned to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after the event was hosted by Seoul, Korea the previous year. Hosting the X Games for a fourth time proved to be a great success for Kuala Lumpur at its new venue, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park. Athletes competed in Skateboarding, In-line Skating and Sport Climbing with a spectacular Moto X demonstration each of the days. More than 44,000 people celebrated the return of X Games Asia back to Malaysia.
X Games 12 is held in Los Angeles August 3-6 adds the sport of Rally Car Racing and the new discipline of BMX Big Air to its sport lineup. More than 138,000 fans attended the competition at The Home Depot Center and STAPLES Center, an increase of nearly 13 percent over X Games 11 in 2005. X Games 12 was also ESPN’s highest-rated X Games ever among young men in the 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 age groups. For the first time, X Games was aired 24 hours each day of the event using ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN Classic, EXPN.com, ESPN360, Mobile ESPN, ESPN International, iTunes and provided unprecedented round-the-clock coverage including a first-ever Pay-Per-View offering for BMX Big Air and an X Games Moto Madness demonstration.
The second X Games Dubai presented by sponsor Mountain Dew returned to Dubai Creek Park from Dec. 1-3, 2006. The three-day exhibition drew the talents of 20 of the world’s most elite action sports athletes in Moto X, Aggressive In-Line Skate and BMX. The event gathered a crowd of 22,000 despite one day being completely rained out.
Winter X Games Nine is held for its fourth consecutive year in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, and is aired live on ESPN and ABC. ESPN’s four primetime telecasts earn a 0.8 average rating in 2005, up 33 percent from last year, reaching an average of 677,000 households. On-site attendance also reaches a record high with a total of 69,750.
Bangkok is home to the first ever Thailand X Games Cup March 24-27, where 14 of the world’s top action sport athletes perform a weekend-long demo in order to raise money and awareness towards the Dec. 26, 2004 Tsunami relief efforts. The athletes perform on the Vert ramp but also touch more than 150 children whom they visit at Thailand’s most famous and largest orphanage.
On April 27, an announcement is made that X Games will remain in Los Angeles through 2009.
X Games 11 is held in Los Angeles August 4-7 at The Home Depot Center, STAPLES Center, Long Beach Marine Stadium and Surfing’s new home of Puerto Escondido, Mexico. The event airs live on ESPN, ABC and ESPN Deportes domestically in more than 75 countries and territories via ESPN International.
On January 20, ESPN and the Aspen Skiing Company reach a landmark agreement that will keep the Winter X Games in Aspen/Snowmass through Winter X Games 11 in 2007.
Winter X Games Eight is held January 24-27 for an unprecedented third year in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. The on-site spectator total of 66,500 is the highest in the event’s three-year history. For the first time in X Games history, the event was telecast live on ESPN and ABC. Additionally, ESPN’s flagship sports news show, SportsCenter, reports live from the event. The show, hosted by Linda Cohn, features live event coverage. Average viewership for Winter X sets an all-time record by exceeding last year’s household average by 30 percent.
Asian X Games Six presented by Toyota is held February 16-22 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for its third consecutive year. The event features Aggressive In-line Skate, Bike Stunt, Skateboard and Wakeboard competitions and draws a record 92,907 fans. The top athlete from Skateboard, Bike Stunt and Aggressive Inline Skate Vert receives invitations to compete at X Games 10 in Los Angeles.
For a third consecutive year, the Latin American X Games is held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from May 7-9 where 83,950 spectators came out to Leme Beach. More than 150 athletes from 15 countries came to Brazil to compete. TV Globo, which produced the television coverage of the Latin American X Games the last two years, once again acted as host broadcaster. TV Globo televises a portion of the Latin American X Games LIVE during its Sports Spectacular program during the Skateboard Vert Final.
The 10th anniversary of X Games is held August 5-8 in Los Angeles for its second consecutive year. Featuring a new finals-only format that is telecast completely live, 150 athletes compete in Aggressive In-line Skate, Bike Stunt, Moto X, Skateboard, Surf and Wakeboard. Venues include STAPLES Center, Home Depot Center, Huntington Beach Pier and Long Beach Marine Stadium. The event garners the highest viewership in the event’s 10-year history and a 47 percent increase from X Games Nine. Attendance over the four day period totals 170,471, including a new one-day attendance record set on Saturday, August 7 with 79,380. On Friday, August 6, X Games 10-year attendance hits the two million mark.
Winter X Games Seven is held in Aspen, Colorado for its second year featuring the sports of Moto X, Ski, Snowboard and Snowmobile. Attendance over the four-day event is increased by more than 12,000 from 2002, with a total of 48,700 spectators. Average viewership for Winter X Games VII across the three networks that carried coverage - ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports - sets an all-time record for the signature winter action sports championship event. Including all telecasts, the three networks garner an average of 412,673 households, the highest in the event’s history and a 33 percent increase from the 310,810 average households for Winter X Games Six (2002).
ESPN successfully executes the inaugural X Games Global Championship, held May 15-18. The first-of-its-kind team event features six world regions competing against each other in summer and winter action sports at two simultaneous venues: San Antonio, Texas and Whistler Blackcomb, B.C. Combining both venues, Team USA registers a cumulative total of 196 points, edging out Team Europe, which finishes second with 167 points. In total, 69,260 spectators came to cheer on their favorite teams at X Games Global Championship One.
Latin American X Games Two is held for the second consecutive year in Rio de Janeiro from April 11-13. The event features more than 150 of the world’s best athletes competing in: Aggressive In-line Skate, Bike Stunt and Skateboard. Winners receive an invitation to compete at X Games Nine in Los Angeles. More than 71,200 spectators come out to Leme Beach over the three days to enjoy the event. TV Globo televises a portion of the event live during its Sports Spectacular program, reaching more than 30 million households in Brazil.
On June 17, ESPN announces the return of Winter X Games to Aspen/Snowmass for a third winter – an unprecedented move for X Games.
July 1 kicks off a 41-day X Games tribute at Disney’s California Adventure™ in Anaheim, Calif., titled X Games Xperience. Guests of the newest theme park inside the Disneyland Resort are immersed in a fast-paced array of activities inspired by ESPN’s X Games, including interactive activities like Moto X Big Air and Vert ramp demonstrations featuring X Games athletes.
X Games Nine makes its debut in Los Angeles August 14-17 in its primary venue at STAPLES Center. Additional venues are in and around Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Coliseum. Total attendance for the event is 187,141, including a one-day X Games attendance record on Saturday (8/16) with 67,500. X Games Surfing also successfully debuts to a crowd of 25,500 in Huntington Beach and women’s Skateboard Park and Vert are made official X Games competitions. The telecast airs on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC and features a live Bike Stunt Vert competition on ABC. It also captures the sought-after 12-17 year-old demographic, which achieves record results. People aged 12-17 increases 10 percent from last year’s telecast.
Winter X Games Six is held in Aspen, Colo., January 17-20 at the resort’s Buttermilk Mountain. Two new skiing disciplines are added: Ski Slopestyle and Ski SuperPipe. The event draws 36,300 spectators, as well as the entire 2002 U.S. Olympic Snowboard Freestyle team, all of whom compete in Winter X Snowboard SuperPipe just weeks prior to the Salt Lake City Olympics.
In January, over 100,000 fans watch athletes catch air in front of Kuala Lumpur’s picturesque Twin Towers while competing in the Junior X Games and Asian X Games Qualifier presented by Toyota. Athletes in the Junior X Games compete for trips to Camp Woodward in the US, while medalists in the Asian X Games Qualifier earn spots to X Games Eight in Philadelphia, PA.
March 21-24, ESPN along with its partners, hosts the inaugural Latin X Games Qualifier in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. More than 200 of Latin America’s best action athletes from Skateboard, Bike Stunt, Aggressive In-line Skate and Wakeboard compete for a spot to X Games Eight. Over 37,500 spectators attend the event and over 30 million households tune into Globo’s coverage of the event.
The second annual ESPN Action Sports and Music Awards are held on April 13 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Jay Mohr hosts the event. Musical performances by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jay-Z with an all-star band, X-Ecutioners featuring Xzibit and Static X, Unwritten Law and 3rd Strike entertain the venue-filled crowd of 6,000.
On May 10, Touchstone Pictures and ESPN present the major motion picture ESPN’s Ultimate X to large-format theatres across the country. The film chronicles the breathtaking highlights and dramatic stories behind X Games Seven and showcases the eye-popping skateboarding, BMX biking, Moto X, and street luge competitions on the giant screen for the first time.
On May 28, ESPN announces a new event, X Games Global Championship, which will feature two distinct venues hosting competitions in summer and winter action sports simultaneously. Six teams of the world’s top athletes will be grouped together by their region of origin to compete in the four-day event, May 15-18, 2003. Results from both venues will be combined for an overall team score. X Games sports include Skateboard, Bicycle Stunt, Moto X and Aggressive In-line Skate; Winter X sports include Snowboard and Ski. Venues include the Alamo dome in San Antonio, Texas for summer events and Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia for winter events.
In July, ESPN’s European X Games Qualifier Two watches athletes from 20 European nations compete in front of 35,500 spectators who came to Barcelona’s Olympic Pier to witness three whole days of adrenalin action. In the end, 10 athletes from Spain, UK, Germany, France and Sweden qualify to Philadelphia USA for X Games VIII.
X Games Eight returns to the First Union Complex in Philadelphia August 15-19. Another park course is added to accommodate the unique riding style of skateboarding. Women’s Skateboard and Moto X exhibitions are featured. The average per day crowd at the First Union Complex is 40,210, a new record for the X Games. The overall crowd count totals 221,352, including the X Games’ two-millionth fan. X Games Eight was the most-watched X Games ever as nearly 63 million people tune in on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports.
X Games Skateparks open in Franklin Mills in Philadelphia, Pa. (Aug. 26); Colorado Mills in Denver, Colo. (November 14) and Grapevine Mills in Dallas, Texas (December 3).
On November 21, ESPN selects Los Angeles to host X Games Nine and 10. The event’s primary venue will be inside and around STAPLES Center (Aug. 14-17), with ancillary venues at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Woodward West, Huntington Beach and others.
2001 Winter X Games Five is held February 1-4 for the second year in Mount Snow. Moto X Big Air at the Winter Games makes its debut.
The inaugural Action Sports and Music Awards are held on April 7 to a packed crowd of 6,000 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. The event unites action sports athletes, sport legends, musicians and Hollywood celebrities, presenting the most explosive evening in the history of action sports. Celebrities LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Chris Klein host the event, which includes performances from the original members of Black Sabbath, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and more.
Philadelphia hosts X Games Seven August 17-22. Downhill BMX makes its debut, which is held at the Woodward Camp in central Pa. For the first time in X Games history, the events are held inside and outside an arena—the First Union Complex—where 234,950 spectators are in attendance.
In August, ESPN and The Mills Corporation announce a licensing agreement to build state-of-the-art public X Games Skateparks at several Mills retail centers across the country. The skateparks, designed by the industry’s top course designers, will offer public facilities for skateboarding, bike stunt riding (BMX) and in-line skating. The first park opens in November at the Discover Mills mall in Gwinnett County, Ga., just outside Atlanta.
Winter X Games Four is held February 3-6 in Mount Snow, Vt. The first Winter X of the millennium features the largest crowds to date - 83,500 - and the debut of Winter X on the East Coast. The new Snowboard SuperPipe competition is added.
June through July, some of the world’s top skateboarders and BMX athletes hit the road, traveling to skate parks across the United States as part of the inaugural Tony Hawk Gigantic Skatepark Tour, which is televised documentary-style on ESPN2.
X Games Six takes place August 17-22 in San Francisco on Piers 30/32. A Moto X Step Up competition is added. Announcements are made regarding the launch of several new ventures, including the Action Sports and Music Awards, International X Games Qualifiers and more.
Crested Butte is once again the site for Winter X Games Three. More than 30,000 attend the event in January, which features more disciplines, including women’s Freeskiing.
From June 27 through July 4, X Games Five in San Francisco attracts nearly 275,000 spectators. Those in attendance were treated to Tony Hawk’s first-ever “skateboarding 900” and the X Games debut of Moto X.
ESPN announces that the X Games will now be held in August to allow for new marketing and programming opportunities.
Approximately 25,000 spectators gather over four days in January at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colo., for Winter X Games Two. New sports include Freeskiing, Snowmobile SnoCross and Skiboarding.
In April, the first-ever international X Games qualifying event is held. The Asian X Games features 200 athletes from the Pacific Rim competing in Phuket, Thailand for a limited amount of spots at X Games Four in San Diego.
In June, the X Games tops its attendance mark for the fourth consecutive year as more than 233,000 spectators flock to Mariner’s Point in San Diego X Games Four.
From January 30 through February 2, the inaugural Winter X Games are televised to 198 countries and territories in 21 different languages. This is the first year that ABC Sports broadcasts an X Games event. More than 38,000 spectators make the trek to Big Bear Lake for four days of competition.
In March, the X Trials, a qualifying event for the X Games, begin in Providence, R.I. Additional X Games qualifying events, including the B3 and EXPN Invitational, are held each summer through 2002 in cities including Orlando, Fla.; Louisville, Ky.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Lake Havasu, Ariz.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Bristol, Conn.
From June 20 through June 28, a record crowd of 221,000 fans watches X Games Three in San Diego and Oceanside, Calif. Snowboard Big Air amazes on-lookers with a 10-story jump comprised of hundreds of tons of manmade snow.
In September, the X Games Xperience road show travels to Disneyland Paris, France. Xperience is held in conjunction with Eurosport.
In January, the event name Extreme Games officially changes to the X Games. The primary reasons for the change are to allow easier translation to international audiences and better branding opportunities.
In late June, approximately 200,000 spectators turn out for X Games Two in Newport, R.I. Kiteskiing, windsurfing and mountain biking are replaced by wakeboarding.
The site of the first-ever Winter X Games is announced at a press conference on June 30. Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, Calif., will host competitions in snowboarding, ice climbing, snow mountain bike racing, super-modified shovel racing and a crossover multi-sport event.
From June 24 through July 1, the Extreme Games are held in Newport, Providence and Middletown, R.I., and Mount Snow, Vt. Athletes compete in 27 events in nine sport categories: Bungy Jumping, Eco-Challenge, In-line Skating, Skateboarding, Skysurfing, Sport Climbing, Street Luge, Biking and Water Sports.
198,000 spectators attend the first Extreme Games. Seven sponsors—Advil, Mountain Dew, Taco Bell, Chevy Trucks, AT&T, Nike and Miller Lite Ice—lend their support to the event.
After enthusiastic response from the athletes, organizers, spectators and sponsors, ESPN decides to hold the event the following year, instead of every two years as originally announced. In October, it is announced that Rhode Island will be the location for the 1996 event.
At a press conference at Planet Hollywood in New York City on April 12, ESPN announces that the first Extreme Games will be held in Rhode Island in June of 1995.
ESPN management decides to devote significant resources to the creation of an international gathering of action sport athletes. A team assembles to develop the concept.