Park City bid for Winter X Games under discussion
November 13, 2012
There will not be a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, but there could be one for the action sports gathering known as the Winter X Games.
ESPN, the event’s creator, is requesting proposals from places interested in hosting the Winter X Games in 2015, 2016 and 2017. A group of people who would be involved in a Park City bid for the Winter X Games is scheduled to meet as early as late in the week to discuss the possibilities of submitting the community as a prospective host.
The Park City Chamber/Bureau is organizing the meeting. Officials from the three local mountain resorts were invited. City Hall could also send someone. The meeting details had not been set by midmorning on Tuesday.
Bob Kollar, the director of special events for the Chamber/Bureau, did not offer a detailed preview. Kollar said the possibility of a bid is being explored, but he did not speak extensively about the topic.
It appears the upcoming meeting will be critical and it will probably be the first time there has been a discussion about a bid involving the key players at once. If the parties agree to pursue a bid, there will likely be a series of quick movements toward preparing one. ESPN has set Nov. 30 as the deadline for cities or other entities to declare their intent in submitting a proposal.
Park City has a long history of hosting top-shelf winter sports events, reaching back to the America’s Opening World Cup ski races at Park City Mountain Resort. Approximately half of the events during the 2002 Winter Olympics were held in the Park City area.
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Since then Deer Valley Resort has staged the World Freestyle Championships while PCMR was a partner with Deer Valley in the world championships in 2011. Canyons, meanwhile, has hosted the Sprint Grand Prix for snowboardcross in the last two years.
Each of the local mountain resorts would have terrain for certain Winter X Games events. The event schedule during the 2012 Winter X Games included competitions like slopestyle and superpipe. It also featured contests for snowmobile riders. The 2012 event, held in Aspen, Colo., lasted four days in late January.
ESPN has set a timeline for the bidding process that could reach through early 2014. According to a timeline posted online as part of the Winter X Games bidding documents, the network on Dec. 7 will name the qualified cities or entities that submitted bids. In the next week, phone calls are scheduled between ESPN and those that qualified.
From December until March, the proposals will be developed and a formal submittal will be made on April 2, 2013 with financial guarantees. Site visits will follow and the host city will be selected sometime before February 2014.
Financial discussions will probably occur early as the Park City group considers a bid. The ESPN bidding documents indicate that hosting an X Games normally costs between $15 million and $20 million.
Of the total cost, at least between 35 percent and 45 percent would be underwritten by the host, the bidding documents say. Revenue could be generated through ticket sales, selling merchandise, parking fees and subsidies from a government, among other streams, according to the documents.