This Week's X Games Mark Departure From L.A., But AEG Exec Sees Return In Future
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).