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Austin may be home to X Games

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The X Games are held all over the world and now Austin could make that list.

"We're in the center of the country, we've got a lot of X Games athletes that live and train here. We've got a great culture for that," said Paul Thornton, President of TAG Present, the events management company for Circuit of the Americas. COTA is hoping to win the bid to host the action sports competition which is televised on ESPN, but needs support from city leaders.

"Where we were falling short compared to some of the cities was really the infrastructure costs of the city: police, EMS, that a lot of other cities throw in and cover and have different event funds that cover that."

Other cities being considered are: Charlotte, Detroit and Chicago.

In a 5-2 vote Thursday, the Austin City Council approved endorsing the event so that COTA can apply for state tax incentives from the Event Trust fund and agreed to waive up to $150,000 in fees if Austin is selected. Two council members voted against the resolution including Laura Morrison.

"I think we can do a city sponsorship for $1 or no dollars," Morrison told FOX 7. "It's about what's the right way to spend taxpayer dollars."

Those who support bringing the 4-day competition to Austin estimate that the economic impact could be as high as $50-million and that it would bring as many as 135,000 visitors to the Austin area.

While Thornton believes the international event could eventually grow to be as big as SXSW, some don't see how that's possible. "That seems out of balance. SXSW is huge, there are thousands, and throngs of people downtown and all over town, spending money and generating revenue," says Morrison.

Thornton believes that's exactly what X Games participants and spectators would do as well.

"I think the X Games helps showcase the vibrancy and youth of this city on a worldwide basis. Now X Games has gone global."

The 3-year contract would be for the summer X Games in 2014-16. The winning city will be announced in July.


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