Welcome to that weird moment when a bunch of tattooed, pierced rebellious types are brought to town by a company owned by Disney, where they'll perform at a publicly funded sports stadium named after a bank. Such is life in America, circa 2016.
Actually, 2017... and again in 2018. On Wednesday, ESPN announced that Minneapolis will play host to the X Games in back-to-back years, with four-day events planned for mid-July in both of the next couple summers.
Events for the extreme sports games will be held both inside US Bank Stadium and outside, on the sort-of-publicly owned Downtown East Commons park. The city and its stadium are said to have "edged out multiple cities" involved in a competitive bidding process.
Tim Reed, vice president of ESPN X Games, said they hope the staging of the event, a first of its kind for the Twin Cities, is "an extraordinary opportunity to grow the X Games in a new region of the country and in a city that's quickly becoming recognized as a premier sports and entertainment destination."
Geez, Tim, awfully nice of you to flatter us. And after you'd already given us the X Games!
Minneapolis City Councilman Jacob Frey, whose ward contains the stadium, says the arrival of the cool-kid sports and national media coverage will help put us Minneapolis on the map as a location.
"We’re hip and we know it, but not everyone does," Frey says. "That’s now going to change."
The release from ESPN says "the majority" of events will take place at new Minnesota Vikings stadium, with no indication as to what other areas of town might be used.
Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (the body that oversees operation of the stadium and its surroundings), hopes to wow ESPN and X Game-rs so much they "consider making U.S. Bank Stadium their permanent home."
Here's an artist's rendering of what the games will look like. If they stick to this sketch, they're plotting to put a big green "X" right on the side of the building. They're also planning one of those big cone-shaped things. Cool. Love those things.