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X Games Names Chicago as Host Finalist

By DNAinfo Staff on April 30, 2013 1:42pm  | Updated on April 30, 2013 3:09pm

 Bruno Passos competing in the X Games in 2009 in Carson, Calif.
Bruno Passos competing in the X Games in 2009 in Carson, Calif.
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Getty Images/Harry How

CHICAGO — Chicago may have lost its bid for the Olympic games, but the city may play host to another large sports competition: the X Games.

The extreme sports tournament, featuring events in skateboarding, motocross and BMX, has been held in and around Los Angeles for the last 10 years.

Starting in the summer of 2014, however, the games will be touring the country. Chicago is one of four finalists with Detroit, Austin and Charlotte to host the first year, according to ESPN.

"As we embark on a year of significant global expansion and transformation for X Games in 2013, we are excited about the potential each of these cities bring, and look forward to identifying our next host city for the X Games," said Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president, programming and X Games in a statement.

 Shaun White skates during the X Games in Los Angeles in 2011.
Shaun White skates during the X Games in Los Angeles in 2011.
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Getty Images/Harry How

The events would take place in and around the United Center in late July, with structures built for the extreme sports, said Sam Stark, executive director for the Chicago Sports Commission, which made the bid for the X Games. Stark said he expects to hear from ESPN by the first week of August which city will be chosen.

The games come at no cost to Chicago, Stark said. ESPN, which organizes and broadcasts the games, would cover the cost of the event, he said.

"It's certainly a no-risk to taxpayers," he said, adding that the games would have have an economic benefit for the city with all of the spectators it would attract.

According to a study by the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission, hosting the games in 2010 had an economic impact of some $50 million.

The study, by the consulting group Micronomics, attracted "as many as 58,000 additional visitor days spent in Los Angeles."

Chicago would also get worldwide television exposure, Stark said.

"Chicago would truly be profiled in a way we have never been profiled before," he said.

The X Games events were held in Downtown Los Angeles, using the LA Memorial Coliseum, Staples Center and the Nokia Theatre.

Chicago came up short in its efforts to host the 2016 Olympic summer games.

In a statement, X Games officials said they had been taking bids from cities, a process it described as "an Olympic-style bidding process where groups representing each city sent in proposals."

The statement mentioned how "Detroit has been the most vociferous in its desire to host the games, at least on social media." It said the Detroit committee has started a Facebook and Twitter campaign and a website encouraging people to sign up to "join the movement."

"Charlotte has mounted a public campaign as well with a Facebook and a LinkedIn page," the X Games said.

The Chicago Sports Commission has no campaigns planned at this time, Stark said.