X Games preps underway, more than 100,000 expected to attend

Medical professionals have been planning for this week and will have extra staff on hand in case anyone gets hurt. http://kare11.tv/2v5Eiym

MINNEAPOLIS - The home of the Vikings is playing host to the world's greatest extreme athletes this week.

Starting this Thursday the best skateboarders, BMX racers and motocross drivers will be stunning audiences at U.S. Bank Stadium.

"We don't have to worry about the weather, which is a nice thing," says X Games Director of Event Development Ryan McGuinness.

The domed stadium was the biggest draw for event organizers, but McGuinness says they were also excited about hosting the event in the Midwest for the first time.

"We want to be able to get our brand out there to as many markets as possible. I think this will draw out some people regionally," McGuinness explains.

The event is expected to bring in close to 100,000 people, according to Meet Minneapolis, an association created to attract conventions and events to the Twin Cities.

An additional 1,600 people will work the event.

"This event is also going to be broadcast around the world on a number of platforms, probably reaching something like 400 million homes. It's a great exposure opportunity for us," Meet Minneapolis President Melvin Tennant says.

Besides the domed stadium, Tennant says the compact nature of the city is also a draw for events like the X Games. He calls it a "compact urban experience" that provides easy access to hotels and restaurants.

"The overall ease of doing business, the compact nature of the city, there are a lot of things that really work in our favor," Tennant explains.

Another perk of the location is having the Hennepin County Medical Center right across the street. Being an extreme sporting event, officials say there's a strong likelihood for injuries.

"They don't call it the X Games for nothing," Hennepin EMS Deputy Chief of Operations Mike Trullinger says.

"There is a risk of injuries and we want to be there and take care of them as soon as possible."

Trullinger says they're treating the event the same way as they would a home Vikings game. However, being a first-time event, there are lot of unique variables that need to be accounted for.

"We have been planning for this for nearly a year already," Trullinger says. "We will add staffing, meaning we'll have staffing on site in all areas of the venue."

Tickets are still available for the event online.

 

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