SBD/June 5, 2013/Events and Attractions

X Games Reps Tour Charlotte Motor Speedway With Selection Expected Soon

zMax Dragway would be the primary venue for X Games events in the Charlotte market
Charlotte Motor Speedway officials yesterday met with ESPN execs "for a site visit to showcase" the facilities in an "effort to lure" the X Games to the venue, according to Jonathan Jones of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Network execs met with CMS President & COO Marcus Smith around noon and then "had lunch before touring the sites in and around the speedway." A few hours later, a "half-dozen of the nearly 20 ESPN employees on site took part in the NASCAR Racing Experience" with Nationwide Series driver and X Games vet Travis Pastrana. The speedway’s bid, labeled X Games Charlotte, is among four host sites "up for the event," along with Detroit, Chicago and Austin. While Chicago and Detroit have "proposed plans that put events across the city, Charlotte’s bid would have all the events in one area." X Games Global VP & GM Chris Stiepock said, "It’s definitely a preferable situation for us when you consider all the factors that are involved in setting up the venue. If we have to set up multiple venues, it’s not only from a staging perspective and building the courses but also from a television standpoint, a whole new production infrastructure." X Games Charlotte has "an active Twitter account and Facebook page, but social media support lags behind cities like Austin and Detroit." Today’s meeting between CMS and ESPN officials "will be more business, discussing topics like ticketing and sponsorships." ESPN "visited Detroit and Chicago last week, and will travel to Austin" tonight (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/5). ESPN Senior VP/Programming & Global X Games Scott Guglielmino said that an "internal decision on where the games go next could be made as early as next week." But no public announcement is expected "until later this month." In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg noted CMS assembled a bid "with minimal assistance from other tourism agencies," which runs "counter to the other finalists" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/4).
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