- Harrison Berry
- A member of the Element Skateboards pro team at the Rhodes Park summer 2016 grand opening celebration.
The downtown skate park has been named as a site for qualifying events for the 2017 X Games, which is set to take place in Minneapolis, Minn., July 13-16, 2017.
"Boise is the perfect venue for the X Games," wrote Boise Mayor Dave Bieter in a statement. "Rhodes Skate Park is world-class and we know that the spectators, viewers and athletes will absolutely fall in love with our city—and want to come back again and again."
Rhodes will host three qualifying events—Men's Skateboard Park, Women's Skateboard Park and BMX Park—Saturday, June 10. The events will be broadcast via ABC on "World of X Games" Saturday, June 17. According to ESPN Director of Event Development Ryan McGuinness, the qualifying events will also stream live, possibly on ESPN 3.
The top three medalists from this year's X Games Austin 2016 have prequalified for the event. The top six athletes in each event will receive invitations to the X Games in Minneapolis.
"We want to go where we're wanted and we felt that from the second we picked up the phone. It just seems like there's a great event team there. The entire community embraced us from the mayor down," he said.
As for Rhodes Skate Park itself, McGuinness said it had all the amenities it would need to host an X Games event.
"Is it X Games quality in terms of features?" he said. "It has all that and more. It's got all the different elements you're looking for for kids of all abilities. It has those expert features."
The announcement is a coup for the city of Boise, which has poured extensive resources into transforming Rhodes into a world-class skate park.
"This is a validation of that," said Mike Journee, spokesman for the mayor's office. "[The X Games] is one of the biggest brands out there for these kinds of sports. ... This is a big stage for our city."
The June 10 qualifying event in Boise is free for the public to attend. McGuinness said community events like the X Games qualifiers are among the brand's most popular with the public, and he expects a "solid local crowd" to attend in Boise.
Rhodes Skate Park has long been a fixture of downtown Boise, but it underwent months-worth of renovation in late 2015 and early 2016, with the work totaling more than $1.55 million, including massive upgrades to the facilities, as well as landscaping and other improvements.
The park held a soft opening for skateboarders, BMX riders and rollerbladers in April, as well as a grand opening hosted by Element Skateboards in August.