Wednesday, July 17, 2013

X Games Goes to Austin. Detroit to Do Its Own Version.

While I'm disappointed that the X Games will not be coming to Detroit at this time, I join those who organized the X Games Detroit Bid in congratulating everyone in Austin, Texas on their success. I wish them the best of luck in their endeavors.

I'm also thrilled to learn that my fellow Detroiters are exploring the option to create their own version of the X Games, which will happen here in Detroit. The fact remains that Detroit has hosted more high-profile sporting events than almost any other city in the nation. The Detroit area has also hosted a tremendous variety of major sporting events such as the 2004 Ryder Cup as well as:
  • Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2005;
  • National Basketball Association Champions in 2005;
  • National Football League Super Bowl XL in 2006;
  • Major League Baseball World Series in 2006;
  • World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania 23 in 2007;
  • NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Sweet Sixteen in 2008;
  • National Hockey League Stanley Cup Championship in 2008;
  • Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2008;
  • National Hockey League Stanley Cup Championship in 2009;
  • NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Final Four in 2009;
  • NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four in 2010;
  • Major League Baseball World Series in 2012.

All of this, of course, is in addition to annual high profile sporting events such as the American Power Boat Association Gold Cup Race on the Detroit River, the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle, the Professional Bowlers Association Motor City Classic at Taylor Lanes, and the Detroit Marathon. Detroit is also one of the few cities in the world to host four professional sports teams, numerous lower profile sporting events, and several semiprofessional teams.

Adding extreme sports, such as those in the X Games, into our portfolio will be a tremendous growth opportunity for Detroit. It would have been preferable to have a partner like ESPN to make that happen. However, I respect ESPN and their decision not to partner with Detroit in this matter.

Even without ESPN and the X Games brand, I am confident that Detroit will produce a world-class extreme sports event. The Detroit area has experience and resources that few communities can match. I look forward to that experience and those resources being used to give extreme athletes one more opportunity to compete.

In the meantime, I look forward to Detroit hosting the the 2013 AAU Junior Olympic Games from July 24 - August 3. This event will bring more than 18,000 athletes and 28,000 visitors from across the nation. It will have events both here in at Cobo Center and in Ypsilanti at Eastern Michigan University.

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