The city of Calgary, Alberta has announced that they have secured the exclusive Canadian rights to host X Games. However, Tourism Calgary and X Games media were unavailable for comment Friday to confirm if they have a firm commitment. Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters Friday he has heard concerns about Calgary’s ability to secure a sponsor in time for 2020.
I know that that work continues,” said Nenshi. “I want to remind everyone that the X Games is a multi-year prospect. The hope is to start in 2020, but there was always the consideration that it might have to start in 2021. I’m still hoping we’ll go for 2020.
Through Tourism Calgary, the city said it will invest $1.8 million per year from 2020 to 2022 to support the extreme sports tournament. The promise was made in addition to a $13.5 million commitment by the former government shortly before the provincial election was called.
Now, the newly-elected United Conservative Government is debating whether the financial backing of the Calgary Winter X Games fits within its budget.
“Getting Alberta’s fiscal situation back on track is job number one, but I’m not saying that it won’t move forward. We will take a look at it to whether it’s a good use of tax dollars,” said spokesman Justin Brattinga from Tanya Fir’s office of the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism.
He said the decision won’t be made until late October and while it’s a late date, considering the proposed games are slated to begin next winter, they have no choice but to qualify the necessity of funding considering their mandate to balance Alberta’s budget.
“We definitely support having Calgary on the map as an international sport tourism destination,” said Brattinga, but added that the $13.5 million commitment was only guaranteed if corporate sponsorship was secured.
He wasn’t able to confirm if it has been or not and said the government will take this into account during budget considerations, in addition to the economic impact the games would have on Alberta.
It is estimated the Winter X Games would bring 75,000 spectators to the city each year, pumping approximately $75 million into the economy.
While dates and discipline-related details for the event itself are still to be announced, it’s been revealed that the Stampede Grandstand will serve as the venue for a stadium-style big air, with WinSport Canada’s Olympic Park acting as the likely venue for superpipe and slopestyle. X Games Calgary will be the latest location in X Games’ newest global expansion effort, which in addition to its marquee winter and summer events in Aspen and Minneapolis, includes a winter/summer hybrid event in Norway, a summer event in Sydney, and recently announced winter and summer events in China, which are set to kick off later this year.
Stay tuned for additional info as this story develops, and more on X Games, visit xgamesupdates.com.