The shape of the snowboarding calendar has had a notable change this week, as ESPN announced yesterday that X Games Tignes is going to be discontinued. As part of a larger cut back including other X Games events over South America and Europe, their schedule will be slimmed down to only two events for 2014- the Winter Games in Aspen and the new Summer Games location in Austin, Texas.
We understand that they might have concerns for this season with a certain winter sports competition in Russia taking most of the focus, but it’s nevertheless an interesting call to cancel all events for the foreseeable future. The fact that they’re also pulling out of their expansion onto six sites (which only started in 2012!) is a revealing indicator of the larger factors at play here. ESPN themselves admit that their current programme is not economically sustainable.
It’s currently unclear whether further X Games could ever be possible in Europe after 2014. But this leaves a significant gap for a new event to step into, so we’ll definitely be watching this space!
Here’s the official statement from ESPN:X GAMES ANNOUNCEMENT
ESPN today announced it will not continue with X Games events in Barcelona, Munich, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Tignes, France. We are proud to have run world-class competitions for both the athletes and spectators; however the overall economics of these events do not provide a sustainable future path. The company remains fully committed to the X Games brand and its full-scale competitions in Aspen, Colorado and Austin, Texas – its newest host city – and we will continue to distribute these premier events around the world.