Austinites flip for the X Games one final time, as the jaw-dropping event takes over COTA in June.
With hair-raising thrills and energetic musical acts, the X Games is preparing for its finale in Austin. On June 2–4, ESPN’s extreme-sports competition will end a three-year run at Circuit of the Americas, where it attracted 140,000 fans last year, the most for any X Games since 2004. It also promises to go out on a high note, with the debut of three disciplines—Moto X Freestyle, Moto X Best Trick, and the Women’s Skateboard Park—as well as a simplified ticketing system and a revamped layout that will make it easier to get between events, according to X Games Vice President Tim Reed. “Our goal is to produce a world-class event experience for our athletes, artists, and fans,” he says.
Among the athletes to watch are 16-year-old skateboard phenomenon Tom Schaar, a five-time X Games medalist; Bob Burnquist, the most decorated X Games medalist ever, who will be defending his gold medal for Skateboard Big Air; and Kyle Baldock, the winner of three consecutive gold medals for BMX Dirt.
At the X Games, music is of course almost as essential as the sports. This year’s acts, hosted at the Austin360 Amphitheater at COTA, include rappers G-Eazy and Logic on Friday and pop-punk icons Blink-182 and All Time Low the next night. Says Reed, “We try to infuse the action sports culture into the music lineup as much as possible.” 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd.