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PROVIDENCE'S COMMITMENTS KEY TO GAINING GRAVITY GAMES
Published February 11, 1999
The state of Rhode Island should reap an economic benefit of $75M for hosting the Gravity Games over the next three years, according to Tom Mooney of the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. Providence's winning bid for the games, which beat out cites including Denver and San Diego, was well-received by the Gravity Games committee due to the city's offer of government support for the four-day alternative sports festival held in September. The city offered the event cost breaks for police and fire protection, hotel accommodations, and office space as well as an assurance of "proper" media promotion of the games with a pledge from the Providence Journal. The event will also receive a "cash contribution" of $1M from public funds as an "enticement" to the game's sponsors, as well as to assist in reducing production costs. The money will be paid out over three years and matched by $1M in "private money." In announcing the games, Providence Mayor Vincent Cianci received a skateboard from games consultant Biker Sherlock: "I shouldn't be holding this. It's like holding marijuana" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 2/10). A NEW APPROACH: NBC Sports Dir of New Business Development Kevin Monaghan said the games hope to "create a nice little niche that's very, very young," as the event will air in October in direct competition with the NFL. Monaghan: "We think that more and more young people aren't focusing on team. They are focusing on these individual adrenaline sports." Monaghan said that promotion for the event will "be a multiple media presentation" with plans to promote the event through outlets such as CNBC, MSNBC and even "Saturday Night Live," while Petersen will push the event in its Raw Sports Group titles Slam and Skate Boarder. Petersen is also "creating" a games Web site that "won't just be focused on the games" and the company. Monaghan says the site will be year-round and will "have an attitude. It's going to be cynical. It's going to tie in to the Gravity Games music ... you're going to be able to buy Gravity Games merchandise, and you're going to be able to talk to the athletes" in chat sessions (PRO. JOURNAL, 2/10).