Skico, ESPN announce new five-year deal to keep X Games in Aspen | PostIndependent.com

Skico, ESPN announce new five-year deal to keep X Games in Aspen

Austin Colbert
The Aspen Times

After 18 years together, Aspen Skiing Co. and ESPN know they have a good thing going. They also know X Games and Buttermilk Ski Area are so good for each other there is no reason to break up that relationship.

With this in mind, ESPN announced Wednesday it has agreed to a new five-year deal to keep its signature winter action-sports event in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“The reality is there aren’t many places in the world like Aspen,” X Games Vice President Tim Reed told The Aspen Times. “The community is awesome. All of the local support we get and our partners with ASC, they are the best and we love working with them. We are thrilled to obviously add on five more years to the plan.”

The new contract will keep X Games Aspen around through at least the 2024 event, which will allow it to surpass the two-decade mark at Buttermilk.

“I’m super psyched that the relationship will continue. It’s been an incredible addition to the programming in our valley, which is impressive in its own right,” said John Rigney, Skico’s senior vice president. “We’ve been together a long time and this is one of those relationships that really benefit both parties. I’m still continually impressed by the business it brings to town, by the caliber of broadcast and by the coverage that these amazing athletes and Aspen Snowmass gets on a global stage. It’s a great formula and there was really no reason to mess with it.”

Winter X Games made its debut in 1997 at Snow Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, California. It then spent two years in Crested Butte before moving to Mount Snow, Vermont, for another two years. Aspen has been the home of Winter X Games since 2002.

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"This is a great spot for it. Everybody knows what it is and it’s pretty cool that they are not really going to change it up too much," said X Games snowboarder Chris Corning, who briefly called Aspen home while training with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. "It's always kind of fun to go somewhere else, but we go somewhere else all the time, so it's nice to be able to come back here every year and know what it's going to be like."

This year’s event is scheduled to get underway Thursday at 11 a.m. and runs through Sunday.

acolbert@aspentimes.com