Calgary secures rights to host Winter X Games from 2020 to 2022

  • Calgary secures rights to host Winter X Games from 2020 to 2022

Calgary secures rights to host Winter X Games from 2020 to 2022

It's estimated hosting the games will spur $75 million in economic activity for the city.

Tourism Calgary CEO Cindy Ady said they have been pursuing the rights to bring this project to life for nearly a decade.

This will mark the first time a country outside of the United States has hosted the original Winter X Games, though spinoff European X Games events have been held in the past in France and Norway.

The Winter X Games in 1997 took place in Bear Lake, Calif., and features events in snowboarding, snowmobiling and skiing during the four-day-long competition.

Construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2025 Rotary International Convention, which is expected to draw some 40,000 delegates to the city, said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda expects the event would support 540 jobs annually.

"This would be a fantastic opportunity to show Alberta to the world, showcasing not only our wonderful athlete and facilities, but our artists and culture as well", he said.

Given successful sponsorships, Calgarians will first see X Games on their home turf starting late February or early March 2020.

The deal is contingent on securing corporate sponsorship and officials say they are talking with potential partners.

Tourism Calgary says it has been working to bring X Games to the city for nearly a decade and the Alberta government has committed $13.5 million over the next three years to the project.

"We're very excited about the opportunity to bring X Games to Canada and are encouraged by the work that the City of Calgary and Government of Alberta have put in to reach this point", said Tim Reed, VP of X Games with ESPN, in the release.

"Not only would the games introduce a new audience to Calgary, it would also inspire the next generation of athletes watching from the grandstands".

With hosting concepts approved between Calgary Stampede and WinSport Canada, Calgary's X Games concept is for a city-wide event, bridging two iconic and important venues.

"It's about revitalizing downtown, it's about really ensuring that we're building on our natural and physical assets to make sure that we can really do a step change in how we think about travel and tourism here in our community".

"Securing the exclusive Canadian rights to X Games is a tremendous step for Calgary". The Games could be held in Calgary for a three-year stretch from 2020 to 2022.