X Games Attracts 110,000 Fans During First Run At U.S. Bank Center In Minneapolis
Attendance "announced at 110,000 came through the gates" during the X Games' first year at U.S. Bank Stadium, which came to a close last night, according to Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. After "thousands of pounds of dirt and concrete are loaded out, decisions will be made on the plan for next year." Changes and new ideas will be "considered to keep interest high in extreme sports for the second round in Minneapolis." U.S. Bank Stadium GM Patrick Talty said, “How do we keep that engagement going so in Year 2 so we have even more crowds? Because if they missed it this year, they’re not going to want to miss it next year.” ESPN VP/X Games Tim Reed said the '17 event was a "pretty successful" first run. Reed "praised the spacious stadium, outdoor plaza and Commons Park as a unique atmosphere for the well-traveled X Games." Krammer notes the event "previously squeezed" into L.A. or "spread out across" Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The chance to showcase "nearly every event and concert within a few-block radius provided a unique setup for fans." Reed said that having the space inside U.S. Bank Stadium to "host nearly every event on one floor, whether on a Moto X bike or a skateboard, was a first for the X Games." Talty said that stadium crews will "aim to improve staffing at peak times after getting a feel for the flow of X Games crowds." With the stadium about four blocks from the Mississippi River, there also "could be more unique opportunities to expand the X Games." Meet Minneapolis CEO Melvin Tennant said, "They’re very excited about the fact we’re on major bodies of water with the river and the lakes." Krammer notes X Games infrastructure also "gave stadium crews new ideas, with camera angles and wiring exceeding technical needs for a typical Vikings game or concert" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/17).