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X GAMES, NOT X RATED: ESPN PLANS MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENT
Published June 18, 1998
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).