“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state and county restrictions, the event will be closed to the public in 2021. Only pre-approved staff, vendors and athletes who are in our COVID-19 Testing Protocol will be allowed within our venue perimeter.”
The good news is X Games Aspen is planning to go on in 2021, bad news is it will be without fans and inside a fenced in venue. The Aspen Times reports these details came out in a special events permit request submitted to Pitkin County by ESPN, which hosts the annual event at Buttermilk Mountain. The permit is in process and has been reviewed by a bevy of local authorities but ultimately must be approved by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. CDPHE will not give a timetable for that decision.
Here’s a breakdown of the plan: No more than 500 pre-approved people including athletes and event staff will be allowed inside the fenced in area. In the permit requests they specified about 90 athletes, 50 athlete support people and approximately 345 support staff (tv production, medical/safety, ESPN event staff and security).
X Games nixed motorsports events and will only have skiing and snowboarding competitions for 2021. Competitions will be held over three days, shortened from the normal four (Jan. 29 to 31). They are also doing away with concerts and there will be no public transit to the venue.
Three-layer face masks will be required at all times inside the venue and can only be removed when eating or drinking. A private COVID-19 testing facility will be setup at Buttermilk where all pre-authorized individuals will undergo onsite COVID testing. The event will be a self-contained venue so skiing and snowboarding will continue on Buttermilk Mountain during the competition.
Big difference from 2019’s four-day X Games Aspen which drew a record 117,000 spectators for the combined competitions and concerts but in the age of a pandemic its great at least the athletes can get together and test their skills if only in front of cameras. ESPN nor Skico has publicized the economic impact of X Games Aspen but its speculated to be in the millions of dollars range.images from XGames FB