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X GAMES, NOT X RATED: ESPN PLANS MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENT

          The theme for this summer's ESPN X Games is "big," as
     the sports network "is trying to provide a 'bigger
     experience' for families," according to Caitlin Rother of
     the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE.  In an effort to make the event
     more fan-friendly, Games organizers have added 2,000 more
     bleacher seats this year, and plan "more activities to
     entertain spectators between competitions, better access for
     the handicapped and more dining choices in a new food
     court."  X Games spokesperson Chris Stiepock: "We're trying
     to do more things that a family can go to."  The games begin
     tomorrow with qualifying events and officially get underway
     next Friday.  Events will run through June 28, and ESPN
     plans nearly 40 hours of coverage (UNION-TRIBUNE, 6/18). 
     USA TODAY's Sal Ruibal previews the X Games today under the
     header, "Still Cool, X Games Getting Hot."  Although Nike
     "dropped" its Games sponsorship this year, adidas America
     replaced it "just one week later."  In-line aggressive
     skater Eitan Kramer, on the public perception of the event:
     "In the beginning, the X Games were looked upon as just
     another corporation trying to make money off our sports. 
     Now it's as American as apple pie" (USA TODAY, 6/18).

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