Business leaders in the Charlotte region are throwing their support behind the effort to bring the ESPN X Games to our area beginning next year. Charlotte Chamber President and CEO, Bob Morgan was among six leaders who signed a letter of endorsement that was sent to the selection committee this week. Charlotte is one of four finalists competing to host the summer games in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Also in the running are Chicago, Detroit and Austin Texas.
The letter reads in part:
"Just as the Charlotte region helped to shape the adrenaline-pumping, speed-seeking sport of NASCAR from its earliest beginnings, it welcomes the opportunity to make history with the X Games, which also clearly is committed to taking action sports to the highest level for its athletes and fan base. Charlotte Motor Speedway would be the ideal location, able to transform an infrastructure built for speed to a venue made for the caliber of intense athleticism associated with the X Games.
We share in the excitement of the region’s residents who are eager to see this opportunity become a reality. Charlotte is a city marked by its commitment to progress with a community that rallies to come together and support this drive, which was most recently witnessed during the success of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. We hold opportunities like the X Games in high esteem and recognize the extraordinary value they bring not only in economic impact but also in elevating a destination’s profile through its prestige."
According to a 2011 study of the L.A. Sports and Entertainment Commission on the X Games visit to southern California, the economic impact was at least $50 million. More than 100,000 fans turned out for the four-day event, staying in hotels, eating a local restaurants and generally taking in the Lost Angeles sights. Given that the X Games has never hosted a finals in the southeast, it’s expected that a Charlotte bid would be equally, if not more, successful.
In addition to local visitors, the X Games would put Charlotte in a worldwide spotlight as part of ESPN’s worldwide broadcast. In 2011, the L.A. games produced 31 hours of unique content that was shown around the globe to more than 380 million households.