Photo by Eric Best

ESPN’s X Games are coming to U.S. Bank Stadium

Updated: July 28, 2016 - 12:25 pm

The new home of the Minnesota Vikings will see the competition the next two summers.

Right before it opens to football fans, U.S. Bank Stadium is attracting attention for another high-profile sporting event.

The stadium will host ESPN’s X Games in July of both 2017 and 2018, its first major sporting event among a roster that includes 2018’s Super Bowl and the NCAA’s Final Four in 2019.

The annual event combines extreme sports like skateboarding, BMX, mountain biking and motor sports. ESPN and officials with Sports Minneapolis — the sport arm of the city’s convention and visitor association, Meet Minneapolis — announced the decision at a July 20 ceremony.

“We intend to put on such a great event that we hope they consider making U.S. Bank Stadium their permanent home,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, in a statement.

X Games athletes showed off their skills at a July 20 event at U.S. Bank Stadium

The events will take place July 13-16, 2017 and July 19-22, 2018. It’s anticipated a majority of the competition will be inside the stadium, the outdoor Medtronic Plaza and the adjacent Commons park. A schedule of X Games events will be announced in the “near future,” ESPN said.

Council Member Jacob Frey, chair of Sports Minneapolis and the area’s representative on the City Council, said in a statement that the event will bring “unparalleled media attention to highlight our city.”

“We are going to be able to highlight that which sets us apart,” he told reporters.

Tim Reed, vice president of ESPN X Games, credited the Minneapolis team that put together the bid package for its “resources, support, fit and passion” in its win of a “very competitive” bid process.

“We believe that teaming up with the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, SMG and Meet Minneapolis and the truly impressive new, state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium will provide an extraordinary opportunity to grow the X Games in a new region of the country and in a city that’s quickly becoming recognized as a premier sports and entertainment destination,” he said.

Image courtesy of ESPN
Image courtesy of ESPN