- Terry Blount, ESPN Staff Writer
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Texas Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway have signed letters of intent to bid on becoming a host venue for ESPN's X Games beginning in 2014.
TMS, which is located in Fort Worth, and CMS, which is located in Concord, N.C., are owned by parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc. Atlanta Motor Speedway, another SMI track, is part of an overall bid by the Atlanta Sports Council.
Mike Zizzo, vice president of media relations at TMS, said X Games officials are traveling to TMS at the end of the month to evaluate the facility.
TMS officials say they are interested in a three-year hosting period for the summer edition of the X Games. TMS is the largest sports facility in Texas. It has 138,122 permanent seats and 1,500 acres of property, which gives the facility the ability to host all of the competition elements of the X Games.
The summer event requires venues that can accommodate courses ranging from rally car and motocross to skateboarding and BMX competition. The four-day event traditionally attracts between 80,000 and 100,000 spectators.
TMS president Eddie Gossage and members of his staff attended last summer's X Games in Los Angeles to get a feel for the immensity and energy surrounding the event.
"I attended every X Games event in L.A.," Gossage said. "It was one of the coolest events of my life. I've been fortunate enough to attend several Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup finals, major bowl games and more.
"But the X Games was the most action-packed and over-the-top sports event I've ever experienced. I know Texas Motor Speedway could be the perfect home for ESPN's X Games. Every athlete is a bright, colorful character, and I love that."
TMS is one of 13 locations bidding for the summer X Games, including two others in Texas: Austin's Circuit of the Americas Formula One road course and the Houston Sports Authority, representing Harris County.
10dBob Pockrass and John Oreovicz