May 23, 2024
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X Games coasts back to Ventura for Round 2

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The X Games brought national attention to Ventura with ESPN broadcasting 16 hours of content. (courtesy photo)

Last year, the X Games return to Southern California — and hitting the Central Coast region — proved to be a huge lift for both the event and the County of Ventura.

Now, the two entities hope to double down on the success in 2024 with the announcement that the Summer X Games 2024 is returning to the Ventura County Fairgrounds and Events Center from June 28 through June 30. Tickets are on sale at XGames.com/ticketing.

“We are so excited to have the X games back this summer,” Julie Madsen, a communications coordinator at Visit Ventura, told the Business Times.

“Last summer was such a record-breaking event and we believe this year is going to be epic and we are so thrilled to welcome everyone back.”

The 2024 games are specifically branded X Games Ventura 2024, an effort led by Visit Ventura.

“We are so excited it is X Games Ventura,” Madsen said.

“It will be on all the merch, all the branding, and it is huge to have our name next to an international brand. The media coverage alone is something our beach community can’t buy so to be X Games Ventura is such a huge deal.”

The X Games — a tournament of action sports that did a lot more than just bring excitement to Ventura — gave the region a national stage presence and brought people up and down the state to experience the city of good fortune and all the surrounding cities along the county.

Some key findings according to Madsen include the impact on Ventura County’s economy amounting to approximately $6.4 million in spending. Moreover, $5 million of that was concentrated in the city of Ventura.

Visitor attendees spent approximately$180.91 per person, resulting in a total direct spend of $2.7 million while event Organizers, including staff and contractors from outside the County, also generated approximately $2.7 million in expenditures.

“Fan response and enthusiasm exceeded our wildest expectations, and it was the fans that helped us to imagine an unforgettable festival experience that is bigger and better than ever,” X Games VP of live events Rich Bigge said in a press release. 

“This year will be an even grander spectacle that is double the size to accommodate expanded entertainment and musical performances, improved viewing options, new medaled events and interactive fan experiences.”

The X Games California 2023 was “an overwhelming success” as the event brought in nearly 50,000 visitors, sold out merchandise for the first time in X Games history, and had nearly $58 million in media value, Meredith Hart, the city of Ventura’s economic development manager, said in a report delivered to the city council in February.

The budget for the 2023 X Games was $250,000, with only $137,818 used to put on the event, well below budget. 

Because this year’s X Games will be in the city’s same fiscal year as the 2023 Games, another 250,000 will be allocated along with the additional cost savings of $112,182 from the 2023 games for additional funding, if necessary.

In an effort to make the event even more of a spectacle this year, ​​for the first time, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite athletes including happy hour with X Games icons, breakfast with the athletes and sessions on the pro street event courses. 

This is the first time fans have ever been allowed to skate or ride the X Games courses.

“We are really diving into the local community more. We want to have more local events that will get fans moving all across town,” Madsen said.

Moreover, the event X Games is doubling down on its commitment to the progression of women’s sports, with the debut of Women’s BMX Park in Ventura as a medaled event. 

The field of invited riders will include several Olympians, including Team USA’s Hannah Roberts who earned silver at Tokyo 2020. 

Women’s Skateboard Vert Best Trick will also make its debut this year.

“I’ve always dreamed of competing in X Games and it was never a possibility until this year,” Hannah Roberts said. 

“Women and girls are bringing so much progression, creativity and energy into action sports across the board and it is exciting to see X Games continue to grow these sports for the next generation.”

As part of its effort to bring the X Games to Ventura last year, Visit Ventura was selected as the winner in the Best Strategic Partnership category at the Visit California Poppy Awards Gala, one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the California travel and tourism industry.

Visit Ventura was selected as the winner for its effort and leadership in “bringing together a first-of-its-kind city, county, and state partnership to bring the X Games to Ventura last summer.

“Receiving a Poppy Award is a dream come true! It’s a win not only for our small but mighty Visit Ventura team but also for the entire community,” Visit Ventura President and CEO Marlyss Auster, said in a press release. 

“We brought together local business owners, our local transportation partners, city and state officials, leaders from the Chumash tribe, and so many more to make the summer of 2023 a summer no one will forget. I am so proud of our community for dreaming big and collaborating to make it all happen!”

email: jmercado@pacbiztimes.com