The city of Whistler is very disappointed as they were hoping that they would be considered as a city to host ESPN’s the X Games franchise. ESPN claims that Whistler had a very robust bid with amazing venues, however there are challenges with their proposed April time slot for winter games, and for ESPN to attain sponsors.
This is why ESPN thought they should consider markets outside of North America, as well April might be too late to keep audiences interested in winter sports. ESPN has decided that Barcelona, Munich and Foz do Iguacu will be their new X host cities.
Although ESPN senior vice-president Scott Guglielmino claims that Whistler’s venues and teams are world class, and that an X Games event in Whistler would be a special experience, the decision not to host in Whistler is ultimately based on opportunities in other markets around the world, versus any shortcomings that are faced in Whistler.
Barrett Fisher, president and CEO of Tourism Whistler, claims that they were very, very disappointed with the X Games decision and we’re hoping that if Whistler were to be chosen to host, it would help with tourism in Whistler. Not to mention, the 300 million households that have access to ESPN would have done wonders for exposing Whistler and all it has to offer. Local athletes also seem to be upset by this decision, Canadian half pipe skier Roz Groenewoud, the X Games champion at Aspen and Tignes this year, believed that Whistler was a shoo-in to host, and that a Canadian X Games title was one he was hoping to add to his collection one day.
X Games would have been a neat experience for all of us to be a part of, as it’s summer games include features such as skateboarding, freestyle motocross, BMX ticks and rally car racing, all of which are not included in the summer Olympics.