RI making push to host 2017, 2018 Summer X Games

Kevin Robinson, of East Providence, R.I., looks toward his landing on the quarter pipe on his way to winning the BMX Freestyle Big Air final at the X Games at Staples Center in Los Angeles Friday, Aug. 3, 2007. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The X Games made its debut in Rhode Island more than two decades ago. Now, the state is making its case to bring the games back home.

The extreme sports event has since split into summer and winter games, and several local groups have submitted a bid to ESPN to host the 2017 and 2018 summer contests.

The first two X Games were held in Providence and Newport in 1995 and 1996 and they’ve since been hosted in cities around the world.

“Rhode Island would be honored to welcome the X Games home,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “It is another opportunity to showcase Rhode Island on the world stage and take advantage of the economic benefits that hosting these games would provide.”

The organizations making the push include the Rhode Island Sports Commission, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Rhode Island Convention Center, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, and the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB).

“The X Games are a lucrative and prestigious event for a destination to host,” added PWCVB President and CEO Martha Sheridan. “We expect there will be many competitive bids that are submitted. One way to distinguish Rhode Island’s bid is to garner public support. We hope the public will express their enthusiasm via social media.”

The PWCVB said it’s teamed up with Providence-based arts group The Avenue Concept to brand the city as “XHQ” and launched a social media campaign to get the word out.

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