Ottawa to spend $166 million to help expand Calgary's BMO Convention Centre

Mae Love
March 15, 2019

The city has secured exclusive rights to host the event in 2020 through 2022, subject to securing corporate sponsorship.

Hosting the X Games would bring significant economic benefits to Calgary, with a Wednesday news release saying it could bring an estimated $75 million in annual economic activity, 75,000 annual spectators and more than 10,000 out-of-region annual visitors.

"The economic spin-offs are significant", said Mayor Nenshi.

Securing the rights was a almost decade-long undertaking on the part of Tourism Calgary, who will now work alongside Manifesto Sport Management and Insight Productions to deliver the events. "This would be a fantastic opportunity to show Alberta to the world, showcasing not only our incredible athletes and facilities, but our artists and culture as well".

The Winter X Games is held over a four-day period and hosted by ESPN. "We didn't have Olympic opportunities at that point either, and to have that potentially coming to Calgary would be a major dream come true", Bowman said.

"How big it is, how much fun it is, how much energy the crowds have - it's just a super fun event to be a part of and hang out and attend". The Winter X Games are one of the most high-profile annual global events for snowboarding, skiing and snowmobiling competitions. "Hosting X Games has always been a goal of Tourism Calgary as it would further solidify our position as Canada's winter sport capital and further our reputation of being the ultimate host city".

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The event has featured some of the most renowned athletes in extreme and action sports, including American Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White and the late Caleb Moore.

Danny Davis competes in the men's snowboard superpipe finals during the Aspen Winter X Games at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo., Sunday, Jan. 27.

With hosting concepts approved between Calgary Stampede and WinSport Canada, Calgary's X Games concept is for a city-wide event, bridging two iconic and important venues.

The 2019 Winter X Games from January 24 to 27 this year drew a total attendance of around 117,000 people.

"It's about expanding our travel and tourism industry, it's about building the facilities that we need in order to attract the kinds of travellers, particularly convention and meeting travellers, who come here", said Nenshi. "We want that forever".

Officials say exclusive Canadian rights have been secured by the city to host X Games for a minimum three year run and the city is hoping to hold events in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

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