X-Games Austin Guide – What to Expect

It’s only natural to combine the X-Games with the Austin vibe.

 

Austin may not have a professional sports team yet, but that’s not stopping them from hosting some of the largest sporting events in the country. Just two years into the state of the art Formula One tracks history, Austin is bringing the X Games to its grounds. From the best action sport athletes to the biggest musical acts around, the Circuit of the Americas will be the place to be in June.

Day 1 – June 5, 2014

The first day of the X Games is going to take over downtown with the Skateboard and BMX Vert competitions. The best part about these events is that they are FREE! Don’t worry that’s not a typo it really is a free event. The day will start with the BMX Vert Final at 7:00 PM with the Skateboard Vert Final to follow at 8:30 PM. In each final the athletes will get 4, 30 second runs each and will get to keep their best score of the 4 runs. Vert is one of the most exciting events of the X Games and is well worth the trip downtown to see.

Day 2 – June 6, 2014

On the second day of X Games Austin, Texas gave to me…BMX Street Finals, Skateboard Street Men’s Elimination, Enduro X Men’s & Women’s Finals, Moto X Best Whip & Step Up Finals, and Skateboarding Big Air Finals. Day 2 of the X Games will be the first day at COTA and is jam packed with some stellar events. The BMX Street Final starts at 12:00 PM and will give each rider as many attempts on the course as they can get during the 15 minute heat sending the top 3 from each heat to the final. From there attention will shift over to the Men’s Skateboard Street Elimination at 2:00 PM as the top 10 scores overall will advance to the final. At 4:00 PM get ready for some hybrid motorcycle competition as the Men’s and Women’s Enduro X gets underway. Moto X will take the spotlight at 7:00 PM leading off with the Best Whip competition Finals. At 7:15 PM Moto X riders will begin the Step Up Final hitting a near 14 foot lip that will propel them to insane heights crowning the highest jump as victor. Cap day 2 off at the big air ramp near turn 19 of COTA’s track at 8:30 PM as some of the world’s best riders take flight in the Skateboard Big Air Final.

Day 3 – June 7, 2014

Another big day at the Circuit of the Americas starts off with the BMX Dirt Final at 11:00 AM where the 8 competitors will take a first run through the dirt course and continue in a ranked order for 4 runs. Grab some grub on your way over to the Global RallyCross course as drivers prepare to hit hairpin turns and insane jumps at maximum horse-power during the RallyCross at 12:30 (includes round 1, Last Chance Qualifiers LCQ, and Finals). At 2:30 PM the Skateboarders will head to the park course for the finals where the two best scores of each rider will count towards their final rank of 1-6. Moto X will take over the next few hours with the Speed & Style Final at 4:00 PM and the Freestyle Final at 7:00 PM. The Speed & Style competition consists of one head to head race that is based on style with the first rider to cross the finish line gaining the speed margin of victory bonus points to be added to their score. All 10 competitors will then take two runs in the same start order for the Freestyle Final. Once again cap the day off with some big air at 8:30 PM, only this time it’s the BMX riders taking to the air.

Final Day – June 8, 2014

The last day of X Games at COTA will get started at 11:00 AM with the BMX Park final as competitors get in as many runs as they can in the 2, 15 minute heats to rank in the top 6. The day continues with the Stadium Super Trucks Final at 12:30 PM in one exciting race between the 10 drivers. Head back to the Main Grandstand at 1:00 PM and prepare for the Women’s & Men’s Skateboard Street Finals. The Skateboard Street Finals will consist of an 18 minute heat giving the skaters as many runs as they can put down to get their best score. End your Austin X Games experience at 5:15 PM with the Moto X Demo as some of the best riders put on the grand finale show by busting out the biggest and baddest tricks in the book.

Now that you know what to see you’re going to want to know where to see it from. The Main Grandstand will put you in front of all the action during the Moto X, Street, and Park events. Just down the stretch at the Turn 1 Grandstand is where you will be able to catch the BMX Dirt Finals. Along the main stretch you will also be able to enjoy attractions from the festival portion of the X Games. Be a part of the action at the Next X Park where you can bring your own bike, board, or skates. The Gaming Shack will house some of the best gamers around in a battle for the X Games gold in the Major League Gaming’s national showdown. Adjacent to the Gaming Shack is the Playground, a place to challenge all your friends in dodge ball, mini golf, zip-lining, king of the hill, and the rock wall or just a place to cool down in the water zone.

In between Turns 12 and 16 us where you will want to be for the RallyCross and Stadium Super Trucks. There are Grandstands, Bleachers and trackside suites surrounding the course getting you up close and personal for the whole race. Just behind the Global RallyCross course you’ll find The Garage, an all things that are fast area that features kart racing, RC cars and racing simulators.

Just before Turn 19 lies a massive general admission lawn where you will be able to witness riders catch some of the biggest air of the X Games during the Big Air Finals. Get here early and stake your claim to a patch of grass in the perfect spot before the event gets under way.

The Austin 360 Amphitheater will house the music portion of the X Games or X Music as it is being referred to. With high octane acts to include Kanye West, Pretty Lights, The Flaming Lips, Mac Miller, Slightly Stoopid, Gary Clark Jr., Bad Religion, Dillon Francis, Mayer Hawthorne, FMLYBND, Wavves, Cash Cash, and CandyLand this state of the art amphitheater is the perfect place to catch some tunes. In between acts be sure to check out the ESPN Clubhouse for all things sports. From sports bars to sports games the ESPN Clubhouse will have you covered. The amphitheater will also include the Galleria, a hub for fashion, art, and other vendors & shops and the Texas Ranch where you can get local while riding a mechanical bull. That’s not all though because it wouldn’t be Austin without going green and that’s just what the Green Planet area is for. From a life-size hamster wheel to the newest ways of recycling and green initiatives, the Green Planet is all about preserving the environment.

The X Games choose to keep it weird with Austin, Texas and it’s looking like that’s just what their planning to do as the 2014 X Games get set to take over the Circuit of the Americas and Downtown. This is one weekend you’re not going to want to miss in June so get your tickets now and start planning your trip to the “Music Capital of the World”!

Austin’s Newest Concert Venue: Tower Amphitheater

Tower Amphitheater, Austin’s newest concert venue, has the potential to significantly shake-up the music scene in the live music capital of the world.  Despite its nearly 200 live music venues, some mid-to-large bands may have previously bypassed Austin because there wasn’t a dedicated 12,000+ capacity venue to play.  As the largest outdoor entertainment venue in Central Texas, Tower Amphitheater is sure to mean more major, nationally-touring events coming through town.  Based on the opening season lineup, which includes county music’s #1 ticket seller Kenny Chesney and recently announced performances from Jimmy Buffet and The Lumineers, Tower Amphitheater is on track to draw an impressive list of shows in 2013.

Tower Amphitheater is situated within Circuit of The Americas’ 1,300-acre sports and entertainment complex.  Circuit of The Americas’ is the first motor racing circuit in the United States to be purpose-built for Formula One, which it hosted in November 2012.  The amphitheater is located underneath a 220-foot tall observation tower, with views of downtown Austin. The open-air venue includes best practices and design elements from iconic outdoor venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, and Live Nation’s massively successful Woodlands Pavilion.

Expected to host 15-20 shows during its inaugural year, tickets are currently available for Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, and The Avett Brothers. Tickets for The Lumineers and Jimmy Buffet will be available for purchase starting this weekend, February 15th and 16th, respectively.

Where to sit
Tower Amphitheater - Seating Chart

General admission lawn seats are the least expensive ticket in the house, situated behind the reserved seating areas.  But be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair that sits directly on the ground as chairs with legs won’t be permitted inside the park.  If you want to be closest to the action, GA Pit tickets are the way to go for Zac Brown Band or The Avett Brothers.  While GA pit tickets are not available for Kenny Chesney, a limited number of premium floor seats will get you closest to the stage (known as the “golden circle”).

Where to eat

In addition to hot dog and burger stands typically available at event venues, Tower Amphitheater will also offer local vendors including Salt Lick BBQ and Gatti’s Pizza.  Concessions are available on both sides of the stage and throughout the Grand Plaza.

Where to park

Buy parking in advance.  Not only will you be able to get into the show faster, but you’re more likely to get a spot closer to the venue entry (and at a discounted rate).

When to arrive

Gate open times vary based on the event. For most shows, the main entrance gates to the Grand Plaza will open two hours before the show time and the interior gates to the amphitheater seating area will open one hour after that. If you’re planning on attending the upcoming Kenny Chesney show, don’t forget to arrive early for the pre-show tailgate party featuring a buffet of Kenny’s favorite food, drinks, and music starting at 5 PM.

Racing into History – The Circuit of the Americas

The Circuit of the Americas is like nothing we’ve ever seen in North America, so here’s an infographic to give you some info on the track and everything that comes along with it. Located southeast of Austin, the track will be used for much more than just the U.S. Grand Prix — though that will be the main event. Want to go to the race? It’s not too late. See the USGP Race with TicketCity!