The world’s best skateboarders and BMX riders will be in Boise on June 10 to compete for spots in next year’s X Games Minneapolis, ESPN announced Tuesday.
The nationally televised event will feature men’s and women’s skateboarding and BMX riding at Rhodes Skate Park. The top six performers in each discipline will receive invitations to Minneapolis, as will the top three medalists from this 2016’s X Games in Austin.
The competition will be live-streamed over the internet. ABC will broadcast television coverage of it a week later, ESPN spokeswoman Grace Coryell said Tuesday.
The X Games announcement is a huge feather in Boise’s cap. The city recently renovated Rhodes Skate Park with financial backing from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, receiving praise from top-notch skaters for creating a world-class skate park. The potential to attract big events like the June 10 qualifier — and the economic benefit that kind of exposure can produce — was a major part of discussions about the park’s renovations between the city of Boise and the foundation, Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said Tuesday.
After re-opening the upgraded park in August, the city began talking to ESPN, which owns and puts on the X Games, about hosting the qualifier here, Holloway said. The network sent a producer and the X Games director to Boise for two days in October, he said.
“They loved Boise. They loved the skate park,” Holloway said.
But even more important may have been the fact that Boise leaders were excited about hosting the X Games qualifier and willing to do what it takes to make it happen. Those leaders include the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, which will cover the cost of the ESPN crew’s hotel rooms while they’re in town, Holloway said.
The city government will pay for additional policing and other items that occur with any special event, Holloway said.