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Rhode Island and Minneapolis target X Games

The state of Rhode Island and the city of Minneapolis have confirmed bids to host the summer edition of action sports event the X Games, which is set to be held in Austin for the final time next month.

Rhode Island is seeking a return for the X Games having held its inaugural editions in 1995 and 1996 in the cities of Newport and Providence. “Rhode Island would be honoured to welcome the X Games home,” Governor 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 WPRI.com website said the organisations making the bid 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.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune newspaper said the City of Minneapolis and U.S. Bank Stadium operator SMG have joined forces to submit a bid for the two editions of the X Games in 2017 and 2018.

Scott Romane, executive director of Sports Minneapolis, an arm of the city’s convention bureau, said the winning bid is likely to be announced by July. Events would take place inside U.S. Bank Stadium and on the adjacent park. The new 66,000-seat home of NFL American football franchise the Minnesota Vikings is scheduled to open in July.

US sports broadcaster ESPN announced in March that the summer X Games event would not return to Austin, Texas, next year and opened a bidding process for US cities interested in hosting the event for consecutive years in 2017 and 2018.

The X Games have taken place at Austin’s Circuit of the America’s (COTA) motorsport facility each year since 2014 and this summer’s event will run in the city from June 2-5. Austin had been due to stage the event again in 2017, but ESPN elected to end its agreement with the city one year earlier than planned and seek a new host.

The summer X Games has taken place in a total of nine different cities around the world in its 20-year history, including various other locations in the US such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2001, and Los Angeles, California, more recently in 2013, prior to relocating to Austin.