MINNEAPOLIS -- Minneapolis is hoping to host the Summer X Games in 2017 and 2018. Meet Minneapolis and SMG, the operator of U.S. Bank Stadium, submitted a bid to bring ESPN's X Games to Minnesota.
"We really think Minneapolis would be a great destination for this. It really celebrates the active lifestyles we have here and takes advantage of a lot of the fantastic venues that we have," said Scott Romane, executive director of Sports Minneapolis.
X Games features some of the world's best action sports athletes. The four-day event would happen at U.S. Bank Stadium and the area outside the venue, stretching into Downtown East Commons Park.
According to Romane, ESPN contacted the city back in November to see if it had any interest. Representatives then visited the site in February.
"The organizers are very intrigued by Minneapolis because it offers such a nice compact urban footprint. So we really feel that's one of the strengths of our bid," Romane said.
Minneapolis is competing against at least six other cities: Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, Nassau, NY and Portland. Romane said there could be more cities that haven't been identified.
"Being a Minnesota athlete and having the experience that I do with X Games, it's a pretty exciting news for me to hear," said Tucker Hibbert of Pelican Rapids.
Hibbert is a 14-time X Games medalist, making him one of the most decorated X Games athletes of all time. At X Games Aspen 2016, he won his ninth consecutive gold medal in SnoCross.
"For me to think about X Games coming to Minneapolis and really reaching out to the youth and to the kids in the state of Minnesota, it's awesome to have that opportunity," Hibbert said. "Hopefully inspire some kids to get outside and ride their bikes and skateboards and snowmobiles."
Should Minneapolis win the bid, the city estimates an economic impact of about $42 million per year. A recent study done following the 2015 X Games in Austin indicated the event generated more than $100 million for the state of Texas.
Sports Minneapolis is encouraging people to post support on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag "XGamesMPLS."