BOISE - In one week, the X Games qualifier will bring in some of the world's top skateboarders and BMX riders to Boise.
In addition to being a family-fun event, city officials expect the two-day competition to provide an economic boost for the local economy.
The newly-renovated Rhodes Park reopened in April of 2016.
“We wanted a world-class facility,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway.
ESPN got word of the new digs via social media and wanted to check out the park as a potential spot for the X Games Qualifier.
“We didn't really envision that ESPN would be reaching out to us to say that we want to do an X Games qualifier and BMX biking at your park,” said Holloway.
In December, ESPN selected Boise for the competition site, giving the city just four months to prepare.
“We're encouraging the public to come out, a number of different parking spaces where you can park free of charge on city property then we will shuttle you free of charge to the event and back to your car free of charge as well,” said Holloway.
There will also be 30-plus vendors selling food, beverages, T-shirts and hats, and 2 Jumbotrons in the parking lot across the street for an additional view of the action.
“This whole area will be transformed into a festive atmosphere and it really did take the entire city, there are nine city department that have some role in bring this to fruition,” said Holloway.
One of the departments is Boise's Visitor and Convention Center, which is in charge of housing all 50 ESPN employees and the 61 competing athletes.
“Finding the hotels was super easy, and then as well as the new Hyatt downtown that just opened, and they were very happy to jump in and have that as their first opening week. It’s a great opportunity for the city anytime you put ESPN's name in front of anything, it's huge in the exposure that we are going to get nationally,” said Taylor Williamson, sales manager at the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Along with exposure, the city anticipates the competition to bring in big bucks.
“It will definitely be businesses busy, restaurants and retail will be very happy that there is going to be an influx of people in town for a couple days, so yes will definitely be an economic boost to the city,” said Williamson.
“We feel really cautiously optimistic that were going to have a great event come June 9th and 10th,” said Holloway.
On Friday, June 9th the elimination round will take place between boy's and girl's skateboarding and men's BMX.
Then on Saturday at noon, ESPN 3 will be live streaming the hour-long event.
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