This week's '13 Summer X Games in L.A. "are expected to attract large crowds to Staples Center, L.A. Live and the Irwindale Event Center," but the relationship between the city and the X Games "has grown stale" of late resulting in ESPN relocating the event next year, according to Andrew Gastelum of the L.A. TIMES. Staples Center Senior VP & GM Lee Zeidman said, "Quite frankly, it has gotten very big and they were looking to change the format. It made sense for them to leave after this year based on the economics, the growth potential and the fact that they have the opportunity to try something new." Gastelum notes Circuit of the Americas near Austin, Texas, which will host the Summer X Games beginning next year, "provides something Los Angeles never could: the opportunity for all events to take place at the same venue." Zeidman said, "After 11 years here we've kind of run out of real estate in and around downtown. But we believe it's going to come back. We're very hopeful that if and when we build Farmers Field we can provide an additional home for ESPN and the X Games to come back here to Los Angeles and be bigger and better." Gold Medal-winning X Games skateboarder Danny Way: "Change is good, though. If it is going to go anywhere, that is a pretty good location. Austin is like a state within a state. It's got a more California feel than the rest of Texas" (L.A. TIMES, 7/30).
Events and Attractions
Macau is "looking to add to its allure by holding the kind of boxing bouts that Las Vegas is known for," according to Kelvin Chan of the AP. Macau is "hosting a series of high-profile bouts this year featuring a pair of Asian stars" in two-time Gold Medal-winning Chinese boxer Zou Shiming and Manny Pacquiao. Zou "made his professional debut in April" and his rise has "helped boost boxing's popularity among fans in China, where the sport was banned until the mid-1980s." Now "all eyes are on the 'Clash in Cotai' in November, featuring Pacquiao for the main event and Zou on the undercard." Event organizers said that it will be "the biggest professional boxing match ever held in China." It also will be "the first outside of the U.S. since" '06 for Pacquiao. For promoter Top Rank, the fight is a "chance to get a head start on bringing the sport to the huge, untapped market in China." Boxing is "nowhere near as popular in China as soccer or basketball," but Top Rank Chair Bob Arum "sees a vast potential market of new fans." Zou is "key to his plan." Arum said that he "envisions Top Rank, which organizes 60 boxing shows a year, eventually holding four to six a year in Macau." Las Vegas by comparison is "hosting a dozen pro bouts this year" (AP, 7/29).