Our X Games History
Highlights from the X Games over the past three decades.
ESPN management decides to devote significant resources to the creation of an international gathering of action sport athletes. A team assembles to develop the concept.
At a press conference at Planet Hollywood in New York City on April 12, ESPN announces that the first Extreme Games will be held in Rhode Island in June of 1995.
From June 24 through July 1, the Extreme Games are held in Newport, Providence and Middletown, R.I., and Mount Snow, Vt. Athletes compete in 27 events in nine sport categories: Bungy Jumping, Eco-Challenge, In-line Skating, Skateboarding, Skysurfing, Sport Climbing, Street Luge, Biking and Water Sports.
198,000 spectators attend the first Extreme Games. Seven sponsors -- Advil, Mountain Dew, Taco Bell, Chevy Trucks, AT&T, Nike and Miller Lite Ice -- lend their support to the event.
After enthusiastic response from the athletes, organizers, spectators and sponsors, ESPN decides to hold the event the following year, instead of every two years as originally announced. In October, it is announced that Rhode Island will be the location for the 1996 event.
In January, the event name Extreme Games officially changes to the X Games. The primary reasons for the change are to allow easier translation to international audiences and better branding opportunities.
In late June, approximately 200,000 spectators turn out for X Games Two in Newport, R.I. Kiteskiing, windsurfing and mountain biking are replaced by wakeboarding.
The site of the first-ever Winter X Games is announced at a press conference on June 30. Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, Calif., will host competitions in snowboarding, ice climbing, snow mountain bike racing, super-modified shovel racing and a crossover multi-sport event.
From January 30 through February 2, the inaugural Winter X Games are televised to 198 countries and territories in 21 different languages. This is the first year that ABC Sports broadcasts an X Games event. More than 38,000 spectators make the trek to Big Bear Lake for four days of competition.
In March, the X Trials, a qualifying event for the X Games, begin in Providence, R.I. Additional X Games qualifying events, including the B3 and EXPN Invitational, are held each summer through 2002 in cities including Orlando, Fla.; Louisville, Ky.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Lake Havasu, Ariz.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Bristol, Conn.
From June 20 through June 28, a record crowd of 221,000 fans watches X Games Three in San Diego and Oceanside, Calif. Snowboard Big Air amazes on-lookers with a 10-story jump comprised of hundreds of tons of manmade snow.
In September, the X Games Xperience road show travels to Disneyland Paris, France. Xperience is held in conjunction with Eurosport.
Approximately 25,000 spectators gather over four days in January at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colo., for Winter X Games Two. New sports include Freeskiing, Snowmobile SnoCross and Skiboarding.
In April, the first-ever international X Games qualifying event is held. The Asian X Games features 200 athletes from the Pacific Rim competing in Phuket, Thailand for a limited amount of spots at X Games Four in San Diego.
In June, the X Games tops its attendance mark for the fourth consecutive year as more than 233,000 spectators flock to Mariner’s Point in San Diego X Games Four.
Crested Butte is once again the site for Winter X Games Three. More than 30,000 attend the event in January, which features more disciplines, including women’s Freeskiing.
From June 27 through July 4, X Games Five in San Francisco attracts nearly 275,000 spectators. Those in attendance were treated to Tony Hawk’s first-ever “skateboarding 900” and the X Games debut of Moto X.
ESPN announces that the X Games will now be held in August to allow for new marketing and programming opportunities.
Winter X Games Four is held February 3-6 in Mount Snow, Vt. The first Winter X of the millennium features the largest crowds to date - 83,500 - and the debut of Winter X on the East Coast. The new Snowboard SuperPipe competition is added.
June through July, some of the world’s top skateboarders and BMX athletes hit the road, traveling to skate parks across the United States as part of the inaugural Tony Hawk Gigantic Skatepark Tour, which is televised documentary-style on ESPN2.
X Games Six takes place August 17-22 in San Francisco on Piers 30/32. A Moto X Step Up competition is added. Announcements are made regarding the launch of several new ventures, including the Action Sports and Music Awards, International X Games Qualifiers and more.
Winter X Games Five is held February 1-4 for the second year in Mount Snow. Moto X Big Air at the Winter Games makes its debut.
The inaugural Action Sports and Music Awards are held on April 7 to a packed crowd of 6,000 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. The event unites action sports athletes, sport legends, musicians and Hollywood celebrities, presenting the most explosive evening in the history of action sports. Celebrities LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Chris Klein host the event, which includes performances from the original members of Black Sabbath, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and more.
Philadelphia hosts X Games Seven August 17-22. Downhill BMX makes its debut, which is held at the Woodward Camp in central Pa. For the first time in X Games history, the events are held inside and outside an arena -- the First Union Complex -- where 234,950 spectators are in attendance.
In August, ESPN and The Mills Corporation announce a licensing agreement to build state-of-the-art public X Games Skateparks at several Mills retail centers across the country. The skateparks, designed by the industry’s top course designers, will offer public facilities for skateboarding, bike stunt riding (BMX) and in-line skating. The first park opens in November at the Discover Mills mall in Gwinnett County, Ga., just outside Atlanta.
Winter X Games Six is held in Aspen, Colo., January 17-20 at the resort’s Buttermilk Mountain. Two new skiing disciplines are added: Ski Slopestyle and Ski SuperPipe. The event draws 36,300 spectators, as well as the entire 2002 U.S. Olympic Snowboard Freestyle team, all of whom compete in Winter X Snowboard SuperPipe just weeks prior to the Salt Lake City Olympics.
In January, over 100,000 fans watch athletes catch air in front of Kuala Lumpur's picturesque Twin Towers while competing in the Junior X Games and Asian X Games Qualifier presented by Toyota. Athletes in the Junior X Games compete for trips to Camp Woodward in the US, while medalists in the Asian X Games Qualifier earn spots to X Games Eight in Philadelphia, PA.
March 21-24, ESPN along with its partners, hosts the inaugural Latin X Games Qualifier in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. More than 200 of Latin America’s best action athletes from Skateboard, Bike Stunt, Aggressive In-line Skate and Wakeboard compete for a spot to X Games Eight. Over 37,500 spectators attend the event and over 30 million households tune into Globo’s coverage of the event.
The second annual ESPN Action Sports and Music Awards are held on April 13 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Jay Mohr hosts the event. Musical performances by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jay-Z with an all-star band, X-Ecutioners featuring Xzibit and Static X, Unwritten Law and 3rd Strike entertain the venue-filled crowd of 6,000.
On May 10, Touchstone Pictures and ESPN present the major motion picture ESPN’s Ultimate X to large-format theaters across the country. The film chronicles the breathtaking highlights and dramatic stories behind X Games Seven and showcases the eye-popping skateboarding, BMX biking, Moto X, and street luge competitions on the giant screen for the first time.
On May 28, ESPN announces a new event, X Games Global Championship, which will feature two distinct venues hosting competitions in summer and winter action sports simultaneously. Six teams of the world’s top athletes will be grouped together by their region of origin to compete in the four-day event, May 15-18, 2003. Results from both venues will be combined for an overall team score. X Games sports include Skateboard, Bicycle Stunt, Moto X and Aggressive In-line Skate; Winter X sports include Snowboard and Ski. Venues include the Alamo dome in San Antonio, Texas for summer events and Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia for winter events.
In July, ESPN’s European X Games Qualifier Two watches athletes from 20 European nations compete in front of 35,500 spectators who came to Barcelona’s Olympic Pier to witness three whole days of adrenalin action. In the end, 10 athletes from Spain, UK, Germany, France and Sweden qualify to Philadelphia USA for X Games VIII.
X Games Eight returns to the First Union Complex in Philadelphia August 15-19. Another park course is added to accommodate the unique riding style of skateboarding. Women’s Skateboard and Moto X exhibitions are featured. The average per day crowd at the First Union Complex is 40,210, a new record for the X Games. The overall crowd count totals 221,352, including the X Games’ two-millionth fan. X Games Eight was the most-watched X Games ever as nearly 63 million people tune in on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports.
X Games Skateparks open in Franklin Mills in Philadelphia, Pa. (Aug. 26); Colorado Mills in Denver, Colo. (November 14) and Grapevine Mills in Dallas, Texas (December 3).
On November 21, ESPN selects Los Angeles to host X Games Nine and 10. The event’s primary venue will be inside and around STAPLES Center (Aug. 14-17), with ancillary venues at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Woodward West, Huntington Beach and others.
Winter X Games Seven is held in Aspen, Colorado for its second year featuring the sports of Moto X, Ski, Snowboard and Snowmobile. Attendance over the four-day event is increased by more than 12,000 from 2002, with a total of 48,700 spectators. Average viewership for Winter X Games VII across the three networks that carried coverage - ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports - sets an all-time record for the signature winter action sports championship event. Including all telecasts, the three networks garner an average of 412,673 households, the highest in the event’s history and a 33 percent increase from the 310,810 average households for Winter X Games Six (2002).
ESPN successfully executes the inaugural X Games Global Championship, held May 15-18. The first-of-its-kind team event features six world regions competing against each other in summer and winter action sports at two simultaneous venues: San Antonio, Texas and Whistler Blackcomb, B.C. Combining both venues, Team USA registers a cumulative total of 196 points, edging out Team Europe, which finishes second with 167 points. In total, 69,260 spectators came to cheer on their favorite teams at X Games Global Championship One.
Latin American X Games Two is held for the second consecutive year in Rio de Janeiro from April 11-13. The event features more than 150 of the world’s best athletes competing in: Aggressive In-line Skate, Bike Stunt and Skateboard. Winners receive an invitation to compete at X Games Nine in Los Angeles. More than 71,200 spectators come out to Leme Beach over the three days to enjoy the event. TV Globo televises a portion of the event live during its Sports Spectacular program, reaching more than 30 million households in Brazil.
On June 17, ESPN announces the return of Winter X Games to Aspen/Snowmass for a third winter – an unprecedented move for X Games.
July 1 kicks off a 41-day X Games tribute at Disney’s California Adventure™ in Anaheim, Calif., titled X Games Xperience. Guests of the newest theme park inside the Disneyland Resort are immersed in a fast-paced array of activities inspired by ESPN’s X Games, including interactive activities like Moto X Big Air and Vert ramp demonstrations featuring X Games athletes.
X Games Nine makes its debut in Los Angeles August 14-17 in its primary venue at STAPLES Center. Additional venues are in and around Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Coliseum. Total attendance for the event is 187,141, including a one-day X Games attendance record on Saturday (8/16) with 67,500. X Games Surfing also successfully debuts to a crowd of 25,500 in Huntington Beach and women’s Skateboard Park and Vert are made official X Games competitions. The telecast airs on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC and features a live Bike Stunt Vert competition on ABC. It also captures the sought-after 12-17 year-old demographic, which achieves record results. People aged 12-17 increases 10 percent from last year’s telecast.
On January 20, ESPN and the Aspen Skiing Company reach a landmark agreement that will keep the Winter X Games in Aspen/Snowmass through Winter X Games 11 in 2007.
Winter X Games Eight is held January 24-27 for an unprecedented third year in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. The on-site spectator total of 66,500 is the highest in the event’s three-year history. For the first time in X Games history, the event was telecast live on ESPN and ABC. Additionally, ESPN’s flagship sports news show, SportsCenter, reports live from the event. The show, hosted by Linda Cohn, features live event coverage. Average viewership for Winter X sets an all-time record by exceeding last year’s household average by 30 percent.
Asian X Games Six presented by Toyota is held February 16-22 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for its third consecutive year. The event features Aggressive In-line Skate, Bike Stunt, Skateboard and Wakeboard competitions and draws a record 92,907 fans. The top athlete from Skateboard, Bike Stunt and Aggressive Inline Skate Vert receives invitations to compete at X Games 10 in Los Angeles.
For a third consecutive year, the Latin American X Games is held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from May 7-9 where 83,950 spectators came out to Leme Beach. More than 150 athletes from 15 countries came to Brazil to compete. TV Globo, which produced the television coverage of the Latin American X Games the last two years, once again acted as host broadcaster. TV Globo televises a portion of the Latin American X Games LIVE during its Sports Spectacular program during the Skateboard Vert Final.
The 10th anniversary of X Games is held August 5-8 in Los Angeles for its second consecutive year. Featuring a new finals-only format that is telecast completely live, 150 athletes compete in Aggressive In-line Skate, Bike Stunt, Moto X, Skateboard, Surf and Wakeboard. Venues include STAPLES Center, Home Depot Center, Huntington Beach Pier and Long Beach Marine Stadium. The event garners the highest viewership in the event’s 10-year history and a 47 percent increase from X Games Nine. Attendance over the four day period totals 170,471, including a new one-day attendance record set on Saturday, August 7 with 79,380. On Friday, August 6, X Games 10-year attendance hits the two million mark.
Winter X Games Nine is held for its fourth consecutive year in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, and is aired live on ESPN and ABC. ESPN’s four primetime telecasts earn a 0.8 average rating in 2005, up 33 percent from last year, reaching an average of 677,000 households. On-site attendance also reaches a record high with a total of 69,750.
Bangkok is home to the first ever Thailand X Games Cup March 24-27, where 14 of the world’s top action sport athletes perform a weekend-long demo in order to raise money and awareness towards the Dec. 26, 2004 Tsunami relief efforts. The athletes perform on the Vert ramp but also touch more than 150 children whom they visit at Thailand’s most famous and largest orphanage.
On April 27, an announcement is made that X Games will remain in Los Angeles through 2009.
X Games 11 is held in Los Angeles August 4-7 at The Home Depot Center, STAPLES Center, Long Beach Marine Stadium and Surfing’s new home of Puerto Escondido, Mexico. The event airs live on ESPN, ABC and ESPN Deportes domestically in more than 75 countries and territories via ESPN International.
Winter X Games is held for a fifth consecutive year in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., and from Jan. 28 through Jan. 31 celebrates its 10th anniversary. The event airs on a wide variety of media platforms within ESPN and ABC Sports, from nightly X Center highlight shows to video clips on iPod to daily Mobile ESPN content and more. Average television viewership on ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2 sets an all-time record with 747,130 households, exceeding last year’s household average by 45 percent. ESPN and Aspen/Snowmass announces that Winter X Games will remain in Aspen/Snowmass through 2010. Additionally, ESPN X Games embraces 28 Olympians who excelled at Winter X Games 10 just weeks before they left for Torino.
From May 12-14, 2006, X Games Asia presented by Kia returned to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after the event was hosted by Seoul, Korea the previous year. Hosting the X Games for a fourth time proved to be a great success for Kuala Lumpur at its new venue, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park. Athletes competed in Skateboarding, In-line Skating and Sport Climbing with a spectacular Moto X demonstration each of the days. More than 44,000 people celebrated the return of X Games Asia back to Malaysia.
X Games 12 is held in Los Angeles August 3-6 adds the sport of Rally Car Racing and the new discipline of BMX Big Air to its sport lineup. More than 138,000 fans attended the competition at The Home Depot Center and STAPLES Center, an increase of nearly 13 percent over X Games 11 in 2005. X Games 12 was also ESPN's highest-rated X Games ever among young men in the 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 age groups. For the first time, X Games was aired 24 hours each day of the event using ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN Classic, EXPN.com, ESPN360, Mobile ESPN, ESPN International, iTunes and provided unprecedented round-the-clock coverage including a first-ever Pay-Per-View offering for BMX Big Air and an X Games Moto Madness demonstration.
The second X Games Dubai presented by sponsor Mountain Dew returned to Dubai Creek Park from Dec. 1-3, 2006. The three-day exhibition drew the talents of 20 of the world’s most elite action sports athletes in Moto X, Aggressive In-Line Skate and BMX. The event gathered a crowd of 22,000 despite one day being completely rained out.
Winter X Games 11 is held in Aspen, Colorado from January 25-28, where the new disciplines of Snowmobile Freestyle, Snowboard Best Trick Showdown and Mono Skier X, its first ever discipline for disabled athletes are added as medaled events. A record number of fans consumed the extensive Winter X Games 11 content featured across the many global ESPN and ABC distribution platforms, including television, Internet and iPods, while the 76,150 spectator attendance was the highest in the event’s six-year history in Aspen and a 110% increase from 2002 (the first Winter X Games in Aspen). ESPN averaged 734,000 households in prime time – its most-viewed Winter X average ever. On the final day of Winter X Games 11, the Sunday primetime telecast (1/28/07) was ESPN’s most-viewed telecast in Winter X Games history with 925, 377 households and the highest-rated Winter X Games telecast since 1997.
From May 3-5, 2007, the KIA X Games Asia is held for the first time ever in the People’s Republic of China at Shanghai’s KIC Jiangwan Sports Center in what was the first of a three-year deal to hold the event in China. In front of a three-day attendance total of 33,900 spectators, more than 200 of the world’s top action sports athletes from more than 20 countries and five continents competed in multiple disciplines, including Aggressive In-Line Skate, Skateboard, BMX Freestyle, Sport Climbing as well as a Moto X demonstration.
X Games 13 is held in Los Angeles August 2-5, 2007 and adds three new disciplines of Moto X Racing, Women’s Surf, and BMX Big Air to its sport lineup. X Games 13 produced more than 14 hours of live coverage on ESPN, ESPN 2 and ABC. Starting with the kick off of the first ever X Games global simulcast, X Games 13 competitions and content were also featured on ESPN International networks, EXPN.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN 360.com, SportsCenter, and ESPN 2’s X Center.
The first ever international X Games in Mexico takes place September 7-9, 2007. The inaugural X Games Mexico, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, is held at the Palacio de los Deportes and features the world’s best athletes in the diciplines of BMX Vert, Skateboard Street, Skateboard Vert, and Freestyle Moto X.
X Games Dubai, presented by Mountain Dew, returns to the United Arab Emirates for the third consecutive year and is held December 6-8, 2007. For the first time in Dubai, the event transitions from a demonstration to a competition as medals and prize money are awarded to the athletes
Winter X Games 12 returned to Aspen, Colo., with 72,500 fans in attendance. The event was televised in high-definition for the first time on ESPN HD and ABC HD, and was ESPN’s most-watched in history with eight telecasts averaging 863,000 homes, up 17% from 2007. Many key demo groups (Men and Persons 18-24, 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54) also delivered their most-viewed Winter X Games, all up double-digits across the board from Winter X Games 11. Six out of eight telecasts were among the top ten most-viewed in Winter X history, including the final night and most-viewed Winter X telecast ever – Sunday night in 1,117,000 households. ABC's Winter X Games 12 telecast on Saturday afternoon delivered a 1.3 household rating and 1,424,000 HHs, up 9% and 10% respectively from Winter X Games 11. Overall, ABC was up across the board among all people and male demos, with Men 18+ up 29% from last year.
On April 25-27, 2008, X Games Brazil was held for the first time in Sao Paulo at the world famous Sambodromo Do Anhembi. Many of the world’s top action sports athletes competed in the diciplines of Skateboard Street, Skateboard Vert, BMX Street, BMX Vert, Moto X Best Trick, and Moto X Step Up. ESPN collaborated with one of South America’s premier Sports Marketing agencies, Reunion Sports + Marketing, to organize the event. More than 15 hours of original programming were generated from X Games Brazil.
ESPN celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Asian X Games, when the event is held from April 30 to May 3, 2008 in Shanghai, China. More than 200 top action sports athletes, from 26 countries, compete for medals and prize money in five sport categories including Aggresive In-Line Skate, BMX, Skateboard, Sport Climbing, and Moto X.
X Games 14 is held in Los Angeles July 31 – August 3, 2008 and featured more than 200 of the world’s best action sports athletes competing for medals and 1.65 million dollars in prize money. X Games 14 produced more than 20 of hours of live coverage and original content. ESPN once again kicked off the celebration with a live global simulcast on night one, and continued with live coverage the entire weekend on ESPN, ESPN 2 and ABC. X Games 13 competitions and content were also featured on ESPN International networks, EXPN.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN 360.com, SportsCenter, and ESPN 2’s X Center.
X Games Mexico returns to Mexico City for a second consecutive year and is held at the Palacio de los Deportes on September 20 and 21, 2008. The event featured athletes competing in the diciplines of BMX Street, Skateboard Street, Moto X Best Trick, Moto X Freestyle, and Motox X Best Whip.
On November 19, ESPN announces Winter X Games 13 will for the first time feature new 22-foot SuperPipe for both ski and snowboard disciplines and two new disciplines will make their debut – Women’s Skiing Slopestyle and Snowmobile Next Trick.
Winter X Games 13 returned to Aspen, Colo., where ESPN and Aspen Skiing Company announced an agreement that will keep the Winter X Games in Aspen/Snowmass through Winter X Games 16 in 2012.The viewers at home and 68,100 spectators in attendance witnessed the world’s top winter action sports athletes compete in a new 22-foot SuperPipe, as well as the addition of two new disciplines making their debut –Women’s Skiing Slopestyle and Snowmobile Next Trick. The Winter X Games 13 telecast debut – Women’s Skiing Slopestyle and Snowmobile Next Trick. The Winter X Games 13 telecast was ESPN’s highest-rated and most viewed Winter X Games in history. The eight telecasts averaged 942,000 homes, up nine percent from 2008. Young male and people demos were up double digits from last year. Three of ESPN’s eight Winter X Games telecasts, delievered over a 1.0 rating this year – Friday prime time, Sunday afternoon and Sunday prime time. Sunday night’s 1.3 rating and 1,242,210 homes makes it the highest-rated and most-viewed Winter X Games telecast ever. ABC’s Winter X Games 13 telecast on Saturday averaged a 1.2 household rating and 1,376,481 households.
The 11th edition of the KIA X Games Asia registered the best spectator attendance in the event's history, with a record number of 54,500 fans at Shanghai's KIC Jiangwan Sports Center over the four-day event. From April 30 - May 3, over 200 of Asia’s and the world’s best action sport athletes from more than 20 countries and five continents competed in BMX Freestyle, Aggressive In-line Skating, Skateboarding and Sport Climbing. In addition to the competitive events, Freestyle Moto X demonstrations were showcased by some of the world’s best riders.
The X Games celebrated its fifteenth anniversary as 111,200 fans attended X Games 15 at STAPLES Center and The Home Depot Center July 30-Aug.2. In addition to being the most viewed X Games ever, a record number of fans consumed the extensive X Games 15 content featured across ESPN and ABC's global distribution platforms, including television, internet, iPods, mobile and more. Nearly 44 million people tuned into X Games on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC during the four-day event. This number is up 11% from last year’s total X Games reach of 39.4 million viewers. Skateboard Park replaced skatelite in its pool with concrete in a fast-flowing course modeled after some of the best concrete skateparks in the world.
Winter X Games 14 set new records with attendance and ratings. The new attendance record in Aspen with a total of 84,100 spectators over four days, beat the previous Aspen best of 76,150 set in 2007 – an increase of nine percent. For the third straight year, the Winter X Games was ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed, and more than 43 million viewers tuned in to watch on ESPN and ESPN2. The ESPN telecasts posted a 1.2 household rating, representing an average of 1,147,000 households. In addition, both ESPN and ESPN2 recorded their highest-rated and most-viewed individual Winter X telecasts (1.3 on ESPN and a 0.8 on ESPN2). ESPN and ESPN2 televised 24.5 hours of live high-definition programming. Out of 120 possible spots in Snowboard SuperPipe, Snowboarder X and Skier X slated to appear at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, spectators not only watched 54 percent of those athletes compete at Winter X Games, but watched history made as the following athletes made their marks on Winter X Games history.
The first Winter X Games staged internationally, Winter X Games Europe Tignes debuted in Tignes, France featuring men’s and women’s Snowboard SuperPipe and Slopestyle and Skiing SuperPipe and Slopestyle. Along with Canal+ and Tignes Resort, Winter X Games Europe welcomed 66,200 fans over three event days. Canal+ and ESPN360.com collaborated to produce 10 hours of original Winter X Games Europe programming distributed in France, the United States, and 166 countries and territories.
KIA X Games Asia returned to Shanghai, China for the fourth consecutive year. The twelfth X Games Asia event featured the new Skateboard and BMX disciplines of mini-MegaRamp™. The event was televised on Great Sports in Shanghai and across Asia on ESPN STAR Sports. On Saturday, May 29, KIA X Games Asia attracted a record-breaking number of fans with 24,300 throughout the day.
The X Games celebrated its sixteenth anniversary as 138,525 fans attended X Games 16 at STAPLES Center, L.A. LIVE and The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum July 29 – Aug. 1. A record number of fans consumed the extensive X Games 16 content featured across ESPN’s global distribution platforms, including television, online, iPods, mobile and more. During the four-day event, ESPN aired 31 hours of original X Games content, and for the first time, delivered nine hours of X Games content live in 3D. More than 35 million people in the United States tuned into the X Games on ESPN, ESPN2 andESPN 3D. Around the globe, X Games 16 was delivered to more than 382 million homes and aired live to 175 countries and territories. Total hours consumed on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s 24/7 sports broadband network, during X Games 16 was up 238 percent compared to 2009. The X Games page on Facebook grew by 50 percent and added over 100,000 new fans in the weeks leading up to the X Games. The X Games Channel on YouTube also had its most-trafficked week ever, with Saturday alone (July 31) registering a record nearly a half-million video views.
Winter X Games 15 eclipsed the previous attendance record, increasing by 36% from 2010. The 114,200 attendance is the highest Winter X Games attendance ever. Overall, 39.7 million people from the U.S. tuned in to the Winter X Games during the four-day event, which includes all live Winter X Games 15 telecasts. With more fan consuming the Winter X Games over our digital platforms, total hours of Winter X Games 15 viewed on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s 24/7 sports broadband network, was up 30% compared to last year. Through two weeks of Winter X Games 15 coverage (January 23-February 5), ESPN.com/Action generated more than 1.3 million visits and nearly 1.7 million video starts, up 47% and 11%, respectively according to Adobe. Additionally, page views on the mobile web site were up 211% compared to the same time period last year.
The second iteration of Winter X Games Europe returned to Tignes, France, again showcasing the top ski and snowboard athletes competing in SuperPipe and Sloepstyle. Over the three day event, 74,700 fans attended despite the snowy weather conditions, including a Winter X Games Europe record of 27,500 fans on Wednesday. ESPN3.com distributed 18.5 hours of content, including live streaming coverage of all eliminations and finals. Additionally and for the first time, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to televise 13.5 hours of tape-delayed, high-definition Winter X Games Europe content in the United States. Together with CANAL + Networks (CANAL +, CANAL + SPORT, Sport +) and ESPN International, Winter X Games Europe was broadcast live in France and distributed to 198 countries and territories worldwide.
In May, ESPN announced a significant milestone in its long-term plans to expand the X Games on a global basis. Beginning in 2013, ESPN announced they will produce six world-class X Games events around the world – two in the U.S. and four outside the U.S. ESPN is putting significant resources and focus behind this push for international expansion and will bring the most prestigious action sports competition to cities and fans around the world. A total of 130 hours of live TV coverage across the six X Games events on ESPN networks in the U.S. and around the world will be supplemented by coverage on digital platforms, including a year-round action sports website. Each X Games event will take on its own distinguishing character that will set it apart from the others, including the introduction of new sports and cultural elements based on the locations themselves.
X Games 17, held in Los Angeles July 28 - 31, showcased 200 of the world’s premiere action sports athletes from 20 countries competing in front of 141,500 fans – the highest attendance in seven years – at STAPLES Center and Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE. Fans were able to consume X Games content on more platforms than ever before, including 29 hours of content on ESPN digital platforms, which helped generate record multimedia growth and the largest digital audience ever for an X Games event. In addition, 37 million people tuned into 25 hours of live X Games television coverage across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN on ABC – up six percent from last year (35 million). Outside the United States, X Games content was delivered to more than 232 million homes and live to 192 countries and territories, including Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Israel, Latin America, Mexico, Middle East and New Zealand. ESPN also received record growth and engagement across all X Games social media platforms with the X Games Facebook page increasing nearly four-fold (up 284 percent) in “likes” and comments compared to the same days last year, X Games channel on YouTube achieving its most-trafficked week ever with video views up 192 percent from the same time period last year and the X Games Twitter name @XGames mentioned more than 20,000 times during the four days of competition and #XGames tweeted 69,000 times and reaching more than 21 million people.
Returning to Aspen, Colo. for the eleventh year, Winter X Games Aspen 2012 featured over 200 athletes competing in 19 disciplines. A record number of fans attended the event on Saturday, reaching the 45,600 mark and a new single-day attendance record for Winter X Games. The total on-site attendance for Winter X Games Aspen 2012 was 108,000 – the second highest in Winter X Games history and on day three of Winter X Games Aspen, the total attendance for all 16 Winter X Games events surpassed the one million mark. An overwhelming number of fans were watching at home as well, as the overall television rating across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC was 0.8, representing an average of 903,000 homes, a 32 percent increase from the previous year. The rating was boosted by the highest-rated and most-watched Winter X Games telecast ever on ESPN, a 1.4 on Sunday, Jan. 29. ESPN’s digital media audience for Winter X Games content during the four days of the event, January 26-29, delivered an average minute audience of 2,300 unique visitors, up 147 percent from 2011. The number of unique visitors to XGames.com during the four days of Winter X Games 2012 was up 75 percent from 2011. Users spent a total of 8.1 million minutes on the site, up 60 percent from 2011.
X Games Tignes returned for the third consecutive year to the French Alps in Savoie, France, March 14-16,, featuring more than 150 of the world’s best winter action sports athletes in eight disciplines for men and women. Over three days, 103,500 fans attended X Games Tignes. ESPN2 and ESPN3 provided coverage for fans in the U.S. while X Games Tignes brought together ESPN’s world class X Games franchise with France’s leading pay TV broadcaster and the local expertise of Tignes Resort.
KIA X Games Asia was held in Shanghai for the sixth consecutive year and was once again the biggest action sports competition in Asia. The four day event attracted a record-breaking 67,500 spectators
Attracts Record-Breaking 67,500 Spectators. The event was televised on Great Sports in Shanghai and across Asia on ESPN STAR Sports, including ESPN Player, and on Shanghai Media Group’s Great Wall Sports. Additionally, the event was telecast on ESPN International networks in the U.S., Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Africa. The 14th edition of Asia’s premiere action sports event will feature more than 150 athletes from more than 30 countries. Fans were treated to an added challenge of a newly designed street course in addition to the Skateboard, BMX, Aggressive In-Line Skate and Moto X Big Air demonstrations.
X Games Los Angeles 2012 celebrated its 10 years of X Games in Los Angeles and showcased 200 of the world’s best athletes in skateboarding, Moto X, BMX and Rally from June 28—July 1. Featuring 21 televised coverage hours in high definition, fans were able to consume content on more platforms than before including ESPN.com/action, ESPN 3D, XGames.com, ESPN3 and X Games social media sites. Saturday’s afternoon telecast on ABC increased its ratings by 50 percent while the event’s successes included the increased attendance of 144,700, the highest attendance since 2004 while X Games Los Angele’s Friday attendance of 33,700 was the largest crowd since 2002.
X Games Global Expansion kicked off in 2013 with its return to Aspen, Colorado for the 12th year of X Games Aspen which featured more than 150 athletes in 17 disciplines. The event drew a total of 115,500 spectators over the course of the four-day event that took place January 26-29. This was the largest total attendance number ever at X Games Aspen, which also included a one-day record of 47,200 on Saturday. X Games Aspen featured the return of live coverage on ABC, combining with coverage on ESPN for 20 hours of live X Games Aspen content in high-definition. WatchESPN streamed all 20 hours of coverage as well as three hours of original content on ESPN3 and ESPN3D will telecast all 21.5 hours of live X Games coverage. In addition to all of the content on ESPN's U.S.-based media platforms, X Games Aspen was televised in 184 countries and territories to more than 430.6 million homes, including live coverage in Africa, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Europe, Middle East and South America. 21.5 live hours of the event will also be simulcast on ESPN's international broadband platforms in 16 countries across Australia, Europe and Latin America. ESPN also produced 10 one-hour syndication shows for networks to air following the event.
As the first international X Games event of 2013, X Games Tignes took place on March 20-22 and drew out 117,000 spectators in three days, the all-time record for Winter X Games. During the event, ESPN and ESPN3 combined to present 21 hours of live coverage from France. 18.5 hours of live coverage exclusively on CANAL+ networks (CANAL +, CANAL + SPORT, Sport +) was broadcast to France and French-speaking territories (Caribbean, French-speaking Africa) on live or on delay during the weekend, and more than 6,000 hours of TV were broadcast in 184 countries and more than 430 million homes including Africa, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Europe, Middle East and South America. This also marked the first time ABC broadcast X Games Tignes. All 21 hours of the event was also simulcast on ESPN’s international broadband platforms to 40 countries across Australia, Europe and Latin America. ESPN also produced 10 one-hour syndication shows for international networks to air following the event.
In April, X Games Foz do Iguaçu 2013 made is debut from Parque Inraero and Parque Nacional do Iguaçu in Brazil, Content totaling 29 hours were simultaneously distributed across multiple broadcast and digital platforms April 18-21. ESPN also offered 23 hours of X Games Foz do Iguaçu original programming on ESPN, ESPN2 in the U.S. Over four days, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 combined to present 29.5 hours of content from Brazil. Additional coverage was also televised in 184 countries and territories to more than 430 million homes, including coverage in Africa, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Europe, Middle East and South America. All 20 hours of the event was also simulcast on ESPN’s international broadband platforms to 40 countries across Australia, Europe and Latin America. The total attendance over four days of competition at the inaugural X Games Foz do Iguaçu event totaled 58,285 spectators.
ESPN X Games kicked off the first-ever summer edition of X Games in Europe. The fourth event of the global expansion year, X Games Barcelona event took place May 16-19 and featured more than 200 athletes competing for medals and prize money in the sports of Skateboard, BMX, RallyCross and Moto X. The four-day attendance during X Games Barcelona totaled 115,300 spectators. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN 3 provided 34 hours of live coverage. Additionally, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC combined to televise 13 hours of original content in high definition and WatchESPN streamed all the coverage in the U.S. that carried live and tape delayed events on ESPN networks across computers, smartphones, tablets, and Xbox. In addition to all of the content on ESPN's U.S.-based media platforms, X Games Barcelona will be televised in 184 countries and territories to more than 430 million homes, including coverage in Africa, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Europe, Middle East and South America. All 20 hours of the event will also be simulcast on ESPN’s international broadband platforms to 40 countries across Australia, Europe and Latin America. In addition, TV3 network in Spain broadcasted 13.5 hours of content on Esport3 and 5 hours of live content on TV3. In addition, Marca TV aired a two-hour highlight special each night of the competition. La Sexta/Neox broadcasteda two and a half hour highlights program each night of the competition as well.
X Games Munich 2013, the second stop of the European events took place June 27-30 with 47.5 hours of action across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ABC, including 26.5 hours on television and drew out over 119,000 spectators over the four-day event. WatchESPN carried every live and tape-delayed event on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 across computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox. Outside the United States, X Games will be seen in more than 182 countries and territories to more than 430 million homes, including telecasts in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Israel, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand and South America. A second Ford RallyCross race was also added to X Games Munich’s Saturday competition schedule as a full-medaled event in addition to Sunday’s originally-scheduled Ford RallyCross race. Saturday’s Ford RallyCross Race One was streamed live from Munich on ESPN3 and included in that day’s Best of Saturday telecast on ESPN.
The final event of 2013, X Games Los Angeles, kicked off August 1 with 17 hours of live TV coverage on ABC and ESPN, with an additional 8.5 hours of coverage exclusive to ESPN3. ESPN also aired a three-hour anthology show from Foz do Iguaçu, Barcelona and Munich on July 25. Additionally, ESPN and ABC combined to deliver 5 hours of short turnaround content, including a two-hour Best of X Games show on ABC Saturday, August 17. Over the four days, WatchESPN carried every live and tape-delayed event on ESPN networks across computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox. WatchESPN was available to 55 million households nationwide in the U.S. at no additional cost to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. A crowd of 24,000 closed out X Games Los Angeles before the event moved on to Austin, Texas the following summer, bringing the four-day total to 92,000 and the eleven-year total for X Games Los Angeles to 1.5 million.
With an extension agreement announced at X Games Aspen 2014, Aspen will remain home of the X Games winter event through 2019. Returning to Aspen for the 13th consecutive year, X Games Aspen 2014 provided the perfect preview to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. With a new single-day attendance record, X Games welcomed 48,000 fans on Saturday and 108,700 over all four days. Over 7,500 fans also attended the four X Games Music concerts in downtown Aspen’s Wagner Park. In seven telecasts across ESPN and ABC, X Games Aspen 2014 averaged 1.032 million viewers and had a total reach of 33.4 million viewers. Viewership on ABC on Saturday increased 30% over the previous year. On the social side, from Jan. 20 – 26, the X Games Facebook page received 19,000 new followers, Twitter gained 12,000 and Instgram gained 58,000.
Throughout the inaugural X Games Austin 2014, fans around the world consumed X Games content through the 27.5 hours of live telecasts on ESPN, ABC, WatchESPN, XGames.com and other digital and social offerings. ABC delivered double-digit increases helping X Games Austin reach almost nine million more viewers than X Games Los Angeles 2013. Digital interaction also increased, with the average daily unique visitors across XGames.com and the app up 10% from 2013. Visits to XGames.com from a mobile device increased by 26% and the X Games app had nearly twice as many downloads during the week of the event than during the week of X Games Los Angeles 2013. The X Games Facebook page grew by 56,000, Twitter by 21,000 and Instagram by 49,000 during the week of the event. Onsite, 160,000 fans took in the action at Circuit of The Americas and the downtown venue, bringing the overall X Games attendance over the past 20 years over five million.
X Games also held the first two World of X Games events with Game of Sk8 Presented by Monster Energy from the ESPN Headquarters in Bristol, Conn. and the Guinness World Record Setting X Games Mammoth Flip with Cam Zink Presented by Monster Energy.
X Games Aspen 2015 ratings increased by 7% from last year among the key demo (P18-49). Digital X Games content had an average minute audience of 2,000 over the four days of the event, a 17% increase from 2014. Growth was led by WatchESPN viewing which made up 66% of the X Games digital audience. A total of 7.7 live minutes were viewed on WatchESPN, up 34 percent. The total attendance onsite at Buttermilk Mountain was 115,500, the most fans to ever attend an X Games Aspen event. Over X Games’ social media pages, Facebook grew by 19,000, Twitter by 20,000 and Instagram by 59,000. Snapchat also featured X Games Aspen as an official story, capturing over 300 million story views throughout the event.
X Games Austin returned to Circuit of The Americas for a second year, featuring more than 26 hours of live coverage on ESPN, ABC, ESPN3, and XGames.com. In addition to live sporting events, XGames.com also hosted a live stream of Metallica’s performance at the venue. Over X Games’ social media pages, Facebook grew by more than 60,000 and surpassed five million Likes; Instagram grew by more than 62,000 and surpassed one million followers on the platform; Twitter grew by more than 11,000 followers and was mentioned more than 210,000 times throughout the weekend. X Games Austin was also featured as a live story on SnapChat on Saturday of the event, garnering more than 330 million story views throughout the event – a 9% increase from the previous year.
X Games returned to Aspen for its 15th consecutive year from January 28 to 31, also marking its 20th rendition. After successfully bringing the concert stage back to Buttermilk Mountain in 2015, X Games Aspen 2016 featured performances by deadmau5, DJ SNAKE, KYGO, Nas, Run The Jewels and Twenty One Pilots right alongside the action sports venues. More than 24 hours of live coverage of X Games in Aspen was available via ESPN, ABC, WatchESPN, WatchABC, ESPN3, XGames.com, the X Games app, and social media channels.12.1 million total minutes of X Games were viewed at X Games Aspen, up 58% from the previous year. ABC Online and ESPN3 specifically had27,000 unique viewers and 1.27 million minutes viewed, making up 10% of overall X Games viewing that year. In addition to all of the content on ESPN’s U.S.-based media platforms, X Games Aspen was also televised globally in 215 countries and territories to more than 365 million homes, including live coverage in Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, New Zealand and Africa.
ESPN kicked off the first ever X Games in Oslo, Norway on February 24, featuring snowboard, ski, and skateboard competitions – this was the first time both summer and winter sports were contested in the same city at an X Games event. The event also featured the first-ever Women’s Ski Big Air competition. TV2 televised 21 hours of live X Games Oslo content throughout Norway. In the U.S., ESPN3 simultaneous streamed all 20 hours of coverage live, and seven hours of highlight coverage as part of the World of X Games series on ABC. In addition to all of the content on TV2 in Norway and ESPN’s U.S.-based media platforms, X Games Oslo was televised globally in 61 countries and territories to more than 395 million homes, including live coverage in Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, New Zealand and Africa.
X Games returned to Austin, Texas for its third and final year at Circuit of The Americas from June 2 to 5, featuring the return of BMX Street, Moto X Best Trick, Moto X Freestyle and Women’s Skateboard Park competitions. For the first time in the X Games’ 21-plus-year history, severe weather forced two venue evacuations, but still delivered an estimated attendance of more than 100,000. ESPN and ABC televised a combined 21 hours of live X Games Austin content in high-definition from June 2-5, 2016. An additional 5.25 hours of competition was also carried exclusively on WatchESPN, as well as the latest coverage across ESPN digital platforms, including XGames.com, the X Games app, and social media channels. Over X Games’ social media pages during X Games Austin, Facebook grew by more than 39,000 and surpassed 5.4 million total Likes; Instagram grew by more than 14,000 and surpassed 1.7 million total followers; and Twitter grew by 19,390 followers. X Games Austin also marked the first use of Facebook 360 Videos, with six hits and more than 4.9 million views, as well as Facebook Live, with 11 hits and more than 400,000 views.
Celebrating the 16th consecutive year in Aspen Snowmass, X Games welcomed 105,000 fans over four days of competition and music. In 2017, X Games featured Bassnectar, Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals, The Chainsmokers and G-Eazy on the music stage. ESPN and ABC aired 16 hours of live coverage, which saw millennial audience growth of 24% year-over-year. Once again WatchESPN also experienced significant growth, with 16 million minutes of X Games content viewed, up 32%. The X Games Facebook page gained 23 thousand likes throughout the Aspen event and X Games Aspen’s Snapchat story had 6.5 million users on Friday. In addition to all of the content on ESPN’s U.S.-based media platforms, X Games Aspen was also televised globally in 215 countries and territories to more than 365 million homes, including live coverage in Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, New Zealand and Africa.
In its second year, the X Games event in Norway moved from the city limits of Oslo to Hafjell, Norway. An Olympic venue during the Lillehammer Olympics, Hafjell provided the perfect venue to host Big Air and Slopestyle contests all at the same venue. Over the four day of events and afterparties, X Games Norway drew 17,647 fans. TV2 televised 16 hours of live X Games Oslo content throughout Norway. In the U.S., ESPN3 simultaneous streamed 13.5 hours of coverage live, and four hours of highlight coverage as part of the World of X Games series on ABC. Including the TV2 distribution, ESPN will deliver X Games Norway content to 454 million households across 190 countries. Additionally, ESPN Media Distribution has reached nearly 20 syndication agreements across Europe, Middle East and Africa – including 10 agreements within Europe, and free-to-air distribution throughout Scandinavia and live streaming coverage via the ESPN Player streaming service.
As part of the Road to X Games content series, X Games hosted the world’s top athletes in a Park Qualifier event where they compete to secure their invitation to X Games Minneapolis. Held at Rhodes Skate Park in Boise, Idaho, the Park Qualifier featured three disciplines – Men’s Skateboard Park, Women’s Skateboard Park and BMX Park. The Road to X Games: Boise Qualifier was live on YouTube and XGames.com. Over 200,000 tuned into the three Park competitions and there was high fan engagement on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter throughout the weekend.
The 24th edition of the summer X Games kicked off the inaugural year in Minneapolis with over 110,000 fans at the new U.S. Bank Stadium. The event featured more than 200 of the world’s best action sports athletes competing for medals and prize money in BMX, Skateboard and Moto X disciplines and world-class musical performances from A Day To Remember, Flume and Minneapolis’ own Atmosphere. ESPN and ABC televised a combined 18.5 hours of live X Games Minneapolis 2017 coverage, which was also available via the ESPN app and XGames.com. Streaming across ESPN’s platform increased 51% and short form video views increased by 246% over X Games Austin 2016. Throughout the week of the event, the @XGames Instagram account grew by 51% year-over-year. In collaboration with Samsung electronics, X Games Minneapolis delivered the first-ever X Games events streamed live in immersive VR exclusively to 48 countries on Samsung Gear VR through the Samsung VR app.
Taking place just two weeks before the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, X Games Aspen welcomed the second-highest crowd in X Games Aspen history as 115,000 witnessed an Olympic preview. A record for largest Friday attendance at X Games Aspen was set this year with 32,000 spectators. X Games Aspen 2018 content across ESPN’s networks enjoyed double-digit usage growth on television, triple digit growth on digital and streaming services, while video growth across social media networks drove nearly 11 million video views. X Games Aspen audience across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC was up +10% YOY for all telecasts. The audience watching X Games programming on ABC was up +28% YOY. Fans 12-17 viewing X Games Aspen on linear TV was up +33% YOY across all networks. The number of minutes streamed on X Games’ YouTube channel nearly tripled in 2018, with 11.5MM minutes streamed, up +185% YOY and the total number of video views on X Games’ YouTube channel was 2.0MM, up +183% YOY.
Now in its third year, X Games Norway 2018 returned to Oslo to host Ski & Snowboard Big Air in Fornebu and Skateboard Street competitions at the X Games legacy park at Skur 13 in Oslo. ESPN worked with NRK on the Norwegian television production and with SAHR Concepts on the international show feeds and as the local organizer staging the multi-sport event. In the U.S. and Canada, ESPN broadcasted X Games Norway 2018 live on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The shows combined for more than 236K views. X Games produced four X Games Extra shows that combined for more than 107K views on Facebook. Over the three-day event, there were more than 2.3MM video views on Instagram and 2.5MM total impressions on Instagram stories. Live streaming minutes on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube combined for more that 1.07MM minutes watched; +213% from 2017 and +21% from 2016 when both Big Air and Skateboard Street were also contested. Average viewers for X Games Extra were 26.7K per show, up 44% from X Games Aspen 2018 (averaged 18K viewers per show in Aspen).
X Games Minneapolis 2018 content across ESPN’s television networks enjoyed double-digit growth on television, triple digit growth on digital and streaming services, and video growth across social media networks enjoyed triple digit growth across all pages. X Games Minneapolis audience across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC was up +38% year-over-year for all telecasts. Across the telecasts on ESPN, viewing by fans 18-34 increased by +34% year-over-year. Among fans aged 12-34, viewing increased across all telecasts increased by +21% year-over-year. The X Games’ YouTube channel had more than 26 million minutes streamed, up +646% year-over-year, with the average watch time reaching more than 11 minutes. The total number of video views on X Games’ YouTube channel topped 2.3 million. The X Games Facebook page reached more than 9 million fans, up +120% year-over-year. Those fans logged 4 million video views, up +210% year-over-year. On Instagram, the X Games page reached more than 1.6 million people, with 8.5 million video views, up +225% year-over-year. The total on-site attendance for X Games Minneapolis 2018 was 119,000.
For the first time in the event’s more than 20-year history, an X Games event took place in Australia – X Games Sydney held at Spotless Stadium. Seven West Media broadcast the competitions in Australia, while the event was streamed live in the U.S. and broadcast as part of the World of X Games series on ABC. More than 52,000 fans attended the three-day event despite rainy conditions. The event featured 11 disciplines in the Skateboard, BMX and Moto X sports.
Kicking off the weekend with an announcement between ESPN and ASC, it was announced that X Games will remain in Aspen for five additional years, through 2024. Heading into the event week, all music and hospitality options were sold out – leading to a record 117,000 attendance for the weekend. This ties X Games Tignes 2013 for the highest attendance at a winter event in X Games history. X Games Aspen 2019 shined on digital and social media, with more than 17 million video views throughout the event. Facebook video views were up 51%, Instagram video views increased by 20% and YouTube video views were up 28% year-over-year. XGames.com also saw double-digit growth, with an increase of 42% in total minutes spent from 2018. Social posts tagged with #XGames, #XGamesAspen and #XGFan created more than 18 million total interactions.
Next up, X Games kicked off the largest action sports event ever to take place in Asia with X Games Shanghai. The competition, held at the Shanghai International Tourism Zone adjacent to Shanghai Disney Resort, featured competition in Skateboard and BMX Street, Skateboard and BMX Big Air and Moto X Best Whip and Best Trick. More than 12,000 spectators visited the inaugural event, including performances from Chinese musicians and more. More than 11.9 million unique viewers tuned into watch the first of several X Games events in China.
In its third year in the Twin Cities, X Games Minneapolis was a hit across ESPN’s social media platforms, drawing year over year increases across all major touchpoints. Facebook saw 5.4M video views (+32% YOY), Instagram 9.6M video views (+12% YOY), YouTube 3.3M video views (+14% YOY) and Twitter 1.6M video views. As should be expected from such a dynamic event, the biggest moments from the weekend drove most of the spikes in social media conversation, namely Ryan Williams’ Big Air backflip and Mitchie Brusco’s 1260 spin – both feats never before seen in competition.
For the fourth consecutive year, X Games traveled to Oslo for X Games Norway. This year, the competition was held all in one jam-packed day, August 31, and featured Skateboard Street, Ski & Snowboard Big Air and Moto X Best Whip and High Air. All the action took place in Oslo’s Telenor Arena, where skiiers and snowboarders entered the arena via a cut in the ceiling to take their Big Air runs.
X Games held two world-class events in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic brought contests and festivals to a halt around the globe. First, 115,000 fans attended X Games Aspen. Highlights included the debut of the Knuckle Huck discipline. Inspired by the antics of Marcus Kleveland, Snowboard Knuckle Huck and Ski Knuckle Huck were immediate hits. Skier Colby Stevenson became the first rookie in X Games history to earn two gold medals at one X Games, taking Men’s Slopestyle and Knuckle Huck. Japanese athletes also made their mark: Miyabi Onitsuka, Kokomo Murase and Reira Iwabuchi swept the medals in Women’s Snowboard Big Air. It was Japan’s first podium sweep at X Games.
Norway hosted an X Games for the fifth straight year. In 2020, X Games Norway was held in Hafjell, near the popular resort area of Lillehammer. Ski and Snowboard Big Air, Slopestyle and Knuckle Huck were contested, and the legendary Mark McMorris walked away with a record: McMorris entered X Games Norway with 18 medals, tied with Shaun White for the most winter discipline podiums in history. The Canadian scored Big Air gold and Slopestyle silver in Norway, ending the event with 20 medals. White had owned at least a share of the record since 2008.
With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging around the globe, X Games Aspen was held against seemingly all odds. And even though no fans could enjoy the event in person, linear broadcasts and digital streaming ensured the many memorable moments were celebrated. Eileen Gu burst onto the scene in Aspen. Just 17, she medaled in all three of her disciplines, including SuperPipe and Slopestyle gold. She’s the only woman in X Games history to earn three medals as a rookie as well as the only woman to win two gold as a rookie. Other highlights included Mathilde Gremaud becoming the first woman ever to land a double cork 1440 in either ski or snowboard competition; it powered her to Ski Big Air gold. And Dusty Henricksen joined Gu as a rookie with two gold medals when the teen shocked onlookers by winning both Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle and Knuckle Huck.
X Games summer returned in 2021 after the pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020. With uncertainty still surrounding the event world, X Games went to a “backyard model,” with multiple small venues across Southern California -- including one literally in an athlete’s yard -- hosting competitions. The Moto X contests were held on Axell Hodges’ property in Ramona; most BMX disciplines were in Pat Casey’s backyard in Riverside; and BMX Street and Skateboard were at the California Training Facility (CA|TF) in Vista. Skateboard Best Trick stole the show and earned attention worldwide when 53-year-old Tony Hawk spontaneously decided to compete. And while the sports icon performed well, it was 12-year-old Brazilian Gui Khury who took gold. Khury landed the first 1080 on a vert ramp, ever, in the process becoming the youngest gold medalist in X Games history.
Though there were capacity restrictions, fans returned to X Games Aspen! They got a show, too: With two more podiums, Jamie Anderson extended her record for most medals by a woman at X Games; she now has 21 -- tied with Mark McMorris for the most in winter disciplines. In other Snowboard action, Kiwi Zoi Sadowski-Synnott took gold in both Snowboard Big Air and Slopestyle, where she became the first woman to land multiple double corks in either a ski or snowboard contest. And Marcus Kleveland almost became the first person to earn three gold at the same X Games winter event when he won Big Air and Knuckle Huck and took silver to McMorris in Slopestyle. In the Ski disciplines, 19-year-old Kelly Sildaru scored her tenth X Games medal with SuperPipe gold. The victory makes her the most-medaled teenager in history, breaking a tie with Nyjah Huston and Shaun White. Alex Hall became the first male skier to collect three medals at one X Games, punctuating his weekend with the first 2160 ever landed in a contest, ski or snowboard.
In late April, X Games traveled to Japan for the first time. X Games Chiba was held at the ZOZO Marine Stadium, homefield of the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team. Japanese athletes excelled and combined for ten medals, tied with the United States for the most at the event. Japanese athletes also swept the Men’s Skateboard Street and Women’s Skateboard Park podiums, the second and third time they’ve accomplished that feat at X Games.
X Games summer returned to the backyard model in 2022, and a new yard was added to the roster: Elliot Sloan hosted Skateboard Vert, Vert Best Trick and the competition debut of MegaPark at his house in Vista, California. San Diego’s legendary Brooklyn Rail was the site of another X Games first: Real Street Best Trick, won by Yuto Horigome. Teen multi-sport sensation Sky Brown took her second straight Women’s Skateboard Park victory, and BMX Street ace Garrett Reynolds earned his fifteenth X Games gold. That ties him with Shaun White for the most in history. In Moto X, Australian Rob Adelberg became the first person to land back-to-back frontflips, while Colby Raha smashed the old X Games QuarterPipe High Air record by skying 49 feet for a walk-off gold, his fifth. Including the 18-foot takeoff ramp, Raha was 67 feet high, or nearly 7 stories in the air.
The year ended with a bang: In late October, it was announced that after 27 years at the forefront of action sports, ESPN sold a majority share of the X Games property to MSP Sports Capital. Onward into the future!