When the summer X Games started out in cities other than L.A., we were frustrated:WTF? This is where half those sports began. This is the action sports capital of America. This is the biggest media market for this stuff. And then, in 2003, they came, and we were like, Yes!
And now? Not so much. After 10 years downtown outside Staples Center, the gig is over, and the games will move on, possibly because the folks who own Staples Center couldn't get it together in time to ink a deal:
ESPN today announced in a statement that it “has chosen four North American cities – Austin, Texas; Chicago; Detroit; and Charlotte, N.C. – as final candidates to host a summer version of the X Games for a period of three years beginning in 2014.”
What happened to L.A?
It's not clear. But the network noted that its 10-year agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns Staples Center and LA Live, was over last summer and that it had asked for cities to bid to host the games, Olympics-style, starting in October.
But an ESPN news piece covering the move indicates that AEG's plan (now defunct) to sell its properties, concert promotion firms and sports teams mucked up any possibility of continuing the games downtown:
AEG, a Los Angeles-based entertainment company which owns Staples Center, the L.A. Kings, L.A. Galaxy and a minority stake in the L.A. Lakers among other properties, was up for sale last year and a contract to extend the X Games in Los Angeles was not agreed upon, so downtown L.A. was out of the running.
The piece says that Long Beach and Pasadena submitted bids but were knocked out as possible finalists.
So if AEG can't keep the X Games on-board, and it's L.A. chief, Tim Leiweke, has headed off to Toronto to run the NHL's Maple Leafs and the NBA's Raptors, what chance do we have of seeing that downtown stadium AEG wanted to build?
See also: X Games LA 2012 (Photos).