X Games approaches city about holding event at Artist Walk


The X Games asked the city of Jacksonville about holding a televised event this summer at the skatepark being built beneath the Fuller Warren Bridge, according to emails provided by the city in response to a records request by the Daily Record.

Brian Kerr, director of athletes and competition for the X Games, sent an inquiry to the city April 19 about staging a one-day Skateboard Street event at the park. The X Games describes Skateboard Street as a competition featuring “a street-inspired course that consists of stair sets, banks, manual pads, ledges, rails and quarterpipes.”

The skatepark, which is expected to be completed this summer, features three areas for skaters of various skills. Renderings of the park show rails, banks and ramps that are shaped like the letters JAX. The $8.8 million skating facility appears to be nearly finished, with landscaping and other finishing touches already in place.

California Skateparks designed and built the skating area. It has built more than 500 facilities worldwide. 

Artist Walk is a three-block public space stretching from Park Street to Riverside Avenue under the bridge. The skating area will adjoin a synthetic-turf, flexible-use plaza under construction on the eastern portion of the project, across Riverside Avenue from the area where the Riverside Arts Market is held. That portion of the Artist Walk is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.

The skatepark and plaza will be part of the Emerald Trail, the nearly 34-mile network of pedestrian/bicycle paths, parks and gardens under construction in central Duval County. The first phase of the trail, the LaVilla Link, opened on May 6 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by elected officials, trail advocates, health professionals and other community members.

Daryl Joseph, director of the city Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, said May 6 that the city had followed up with Kerr. 

Kerr offered no further information when contacted by the Daily Record with follow-up questions, instead referring to his initial email to the city.

ESPN started the X Games, which features extreme sports competition, in the 1990s. The first event was in 1995 in Rhode Island.

In 2022, ESPN sold its controlling interest in the X Games to private-equity firm MSP Sports Capital, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The 2024 summer X Games are June 27-30 in Ventura, California, with skateboard, BMX and Moto X competitions.

There also is a winter X Games competition featuring snowboarding and skiing competitions.

 



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