KSTP: Setup Underway as X Games Return to Minneapolis


The X Games return to Minneapolis next week for the second year in a row.

Preparations are underway right now to transform the inside of U.S. Bank Stadium.

Originally the X Games signed a two-year contract to be in Minneapolis. But they quickly extended that to four years because it was such a success for the roughly 200 athletes and ESPN.

Local leaders in Minneapolis are even hoping this can become an annual partnership.

"Pumped, we love being here," said Rich Bigge, ESPN director of Competitions and Logistics for Global X Events.

Bigge tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS this location is ideal because they don't have to worry about weather, and everything is centrally located in one part of downtown.

"This gives them guys and girls the greatest opportunity to be able to do their tricks that they want to do," Bigge said. 

"We're thrilled that they decided to come back," said Kristen Montag, with Meet Minneapolis. 

Montag and Meet Minneapolis said 110,000 people attended X Games last year. 

"We think that the more people who attend, the more the area supports the event, the more chance we have of keeping it here for a longer time," Montag said. 

What would it take to make it an annual event in Minneapolis?

Los Angeles was host for 10 years in a row. Montag said with good attendance and innovative ways to make it new and exciting each year that she thinks they have a shot. 

"We think it's possible," Montag said. "We're going to continue to look for ways to keep them happy."

With construction nearly complete, the X Games and ESPN have a few surprises for this year, and they hope fans and the city continue to embrace this new summer tradition.

"What we've tried to do is change the course a little bit," Bigge said. "What we do and how we do things this fits us well."

Everything kicks off for the public on Thursday, July 19. If you're interested in attending, tickets start at just $20.

ABC will have live coverage starting at noon on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22.