With a week before the X Games opening ceremony the transformation continues at the Circuit of the Americas. The piles of dirt, loads of plywood and coats of concrete being applied on top of the gleaming race track may seem out of character, but CEO Jason Dial says it’s exactly what designers had in mind.
"I think it’s fun, to watch, and we are getting a lot of folks that said listen, I didn't believe but now I do. And that’s neat because when they can go from the negative to celebrating the success, this is really a community story said Dial.
More than 200 athletes will compete on venues built for skateboards, bicycles, motorcycles and off-road trucks.
BMX freestyler, Chase Hawk, cut his teeth on a dirt track near the Travis County Courthouse. Hawk is excited about coming back home to compete on a much bigger stage.
"I definitely want to do good, and make my city proud,” said Hawk.
Jay Reichert, another Texan, will compete in a new high octane race. Modified trucks built for off road and arena tracks will be getting their X-Games debut in Austin.
"Now all of a sudden, spotlight is on us, we're bringing stadium trucks to the world, I the X Games, it’s going to be a pinnacle sport-when people see these trucks run ... they're fast real fast,” said Reichert.
X Game promoters are tapping into the State Special Events Fund, but the amount of money is not being disclosed at this time. Promoters are saying that this nearly 400 acre campus will allow them to expand what they are offering beyond competition.
For the first time the X Games will also show case larger music events and offer larger interactive opportunities. It’s a reboot of a 20-year-old- made for TV production – that’s targets a younger audience.
"I think the city of Austin and the track are going to be I think hugely important to the long term success of the X Games I think that the city clearly like from a cultural stand point, the music stand point, they offer, I think, the integration points that make sense for the fan of the X games and the lifestyle,” said Tim Reed, X Games Austin event director.
The X Games has a multiyear deal with Austin and will kick off in downtown Austin. An area along congress between 10th and the state capitol will be closed off. The economic impact by the people who attend, according to some accounts could reach $50-million.