Road to X Games photo-op rolls through Boise
As of Thursday morning, about 180 bleacher tickets were still available for Boise's X Games qualifier on Saturday, June 16, Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said.
Several hundred more tickets were available for qualifying rounds Friday, June 15, Holloway said.
The price for tickets to Saturday's event is $23.31, including taxes and fees. The price for Friday tickets is $17.74. Tickets are available online at xgames.cityofboise.org.
This is the second year in a row the city of Boise has hosted an X Games qualifier at Rhodes Skate Park, located under the I-184 Connector between 15th and 16th streets. The competition, put on and televised by ESPN, features professional skaters and BMX riders vying for spots in July's X Games, which will take place in Minneapolis.
Last year's event followed a renovation that turned Rhodes Skate Park into one of the best in the world. It drew a two-day crowd of about 7,000. The Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau expects 10,000 people this year.
Holloway said last year's X Games qualifier achieved most of what the city had hoped. Most importantly, he said, there were no major fights or safety problems.
One complaint Parks and Recreation heard was that people wished there were more bleacher seats available. Last year, bleachers on the south side of the competition area held 300 people. So this year, Ada County is letting the city use — free of charge — double-decker bleachers from the fairgrounds that hold 500 people, Holloway said.
Parks and Recreation is also adding a few amenities to bolster the event's atmosphere. Organizers are setting up a stage on Front Street between 15th and 16th streets where local music acts, including The Love Bunch, Boise Rock School and Outside the Frame will play.
A family zone will be located on Front between 14th and 15th. Parks and Recreation is bringing in more vendors than last year to sell food, drinks and merchandise. Holloway said no two vendors will sell the same types of food.
"We just really took last year's event and just stepped it up a little bit more in terms of offering a lot more variety food and beverages and merchandise and free activities for families," he said.
Programming runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The park will be closed Thursday, June 14, Holloway said, so that the athletes can practice. ESPN will live stream the Saturday competition, Holloway said, and televise it nationally a week later on ABC. Holloway said the time of the June 23 telecast and website for the June 16 live stream have not been determined yet.
As part of the Boise qualifier, ESPN is putting on a Harley-Davidson Hooligan race. That race will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 15 at CenturyLink Arena, located on Downtown Boise's Grove Plaza.
Holloway said the total cost of putting on the X Games qualifier at Rhodes Skate Park is about $200,000. But the city will recover most, perhaps all, of that cost through ticket sales, vendor fees and businesses' and other organizations' donations of cash, time and equipment, he said. For example, Holloway said, St. Alphonsus Health System is donating medical services for the athletes and Albertsons is donating meals for the athletes and ESPN crew.