Oslo taxpayers won’t be paying for another winter “X Games” this year, after city politicians turned down the organizers’ funding requests. The organizers are now trying to secure funding from the state instead.
Oslo provided NOK 42 million (nearly USD 6 million at the time) for last year’s X Games, which also attracted a doping controversy. The city money was necessary for organizers to meet their budget, Henning Andersen of X Games told newspaper Aftenposten. “We had NOK 7.5 million in ticket and sponsor income and see that interest is greater this year,” Andersen said.
The city isn’t interested. “We know that many people followed the event on social media, but we don’t know how many people actually visited Oslo because of it,” Rina Mariann Hansen of the Labour Party told Aftenposten. After catching some criticism over the millions committed by an earlier city government, Hansen said the city prefers to “motivate folks to their own activity” instead of mounting another X Games. She also noted that the city still provides funding to operate the halfpipe at Wyllerløypa in Sørkedalen, the new skateboarding hall at Filipstad and will have a new skating hall open at Voldsløkka around New Year.
Andersen said he’s now hoping the state will help fund a smaller X Games featuring snowboarding and slopestyle at Hafjell this winter. “We got NOK 8 million in the revised state budget but need another 10 million to mount the event,” he told Aftenposten.