Nitro Circus is created by action sports legend Travis Pastrana along with Nitro Circus CEO and Creative Director Mike Porra, announced today Nitro World Games returns to Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, June 24. Rice-Eccles Stadium will again host the competition to see who will be crowned world champion in action sports’ disciplines: Freestyle Motocross, BMX, Skate, Inline Skate and Scooter. Again, like 2016, NBC will televise the event in primetime in the U.S.
When Nitro Circus announced in 2015 that they would bring a first ever, live competition to Utah this past summer, it was met with a healthy dose of excitement but also a skepticism with the nature of progression and discussion that the event was promising.
As of 10 PM Mountain time July 16, it was official, action sports competition had been changed and vaulted into a new realm of competition as tricks never landed in competition were showcased to a packed Rice-Eccles Stadium.
“We wanted to prove to the world that we could create an event that nobody had done before and prove that we could get it done in one evening and show it off to the world in primetime TV,” said Pastrana. “My goal from day one was to create a platform that forced progression but at the same time also forced safety for the riders. Every take off ramp, landing ramp and deign of the competition venue was tested and retested to match the desired outcome. If a rider was going to attempt a world’s first trick in competition, then it was my job to help make that happen but to also help then ride away from the landing in one piece.”
When asked why Utah was selected again, Pastrana was all smiles.
“When we began to discuss where the Nitro World Games would be hosted, it became clear there was only one place that we needed to be and that was Utah,” said Pastrana. “Nitro Circus has roots here in Utah. While Nitro was born in my mind, it was in Utah were it became a reality. The fans in Utah are easily some of the most knowledgeable consumers of the sport. As we travel around the globe with the Nitro Circus Live show, you quickly learn where you have to bring your best tricks, and Utah is at the top. So when the idea for a first ever Nitro competition with an actual points system and a winner began, it was apparent that Utah should be the host and I could not be more excited to be bringing this back to the state for the second Nitro World Games.”
Nitro Circus CEO and Creative Director Mike Porra echoed similar thoughts.
“From the roar of the stadium to the huge viewership on TV and online, it was clear that Nitro World Games struck a chord,” said Porra in a press release. “We can’t wait to come back to Salt Lake City. We have an obligation to both the fans and the industry to continue to innovate and we know that this year is going to be even bigger and better.”
Bigger and better is all Pastrana could focus on in discussing the upcoming Nitro World Games.
“We know that the ramps work and we know that the landings work,” said Pastrana. “Imagine standing on the balcony of a ten story building, this is how high Josh Sheehan (Freestyle Motocross) is at the apex of his jump will doing his triple backflip. This is made possible by great engineering in ramps and the drive of the athlete but to fall from the sky and land it safely and ride away, that is where the magic really happens. Now that we know how the ramps and landings are really going to function in a competition, it allows us as a competition committee to see where we can push to the next level, but it also allows the riders an entire year to prepare on the ramps and begin their progression to another world’s first trick. Familiarity and comfort with equipment is absolutely critical to breaking through the ceiling of progression again. You often hear that these tricks cannot be done or should not be done, and at the end of the day, I get to see them first hand and watch as these riders blow right through the laws of physics and create something that is indescribable”
“Utah was fortunate to host the highly successful inaugural Nitro World Games, which brought significant economic impact and media value to the state,” said Jeff Robbins, president & CEO of the Utah Sports Commission in a press release. “Sports fans around the world are anxious to see the continued progression that will take place during the 2017 event.”
Utah native and Nitro Circus athlete Gavin Godfrey could not contain his excitement about the return of the Nitro World Games to his home state.
“Having the Nitro World Games back in Utah in 2017 is so amazing for me. The spirit of the state of Utah is shown through the people and we show up and prove it with how we cheer and push the athlete to the next level. Trust me, we can hear you as we prepare to drop in and do our trick. It lifts us. Utah is the State of Sport and where Nitro Circus was born.”
The word progression has become synonymous with the Nitro World Games, from the world’s first tricks that were landed, the highest TV ratings of an action sports event in the last six years, and the time frame that the competition took place in, where does Pastrana find a place for new progression?
“As a competition committee we are constantly looking at places to expand and create something new every year, that is our obligation to the riders and to the fans as well,” said Pastrana. “We are looking at a new skateboard ramp and format, fine tuning the ramps for freestyle motocross and more. The evolution of the disciplines in the action sports community continues to grow and evolve and as it grows all around the world whether they are a Nitro athlete or not. We want to be the leader in competition progression and that means as the sports and athlete evolves breaking through the glass ceiling of progression, we have to evolve and grow with it. That is what makes having this event in Utah so fun. As we travel the world with the live show, a backflip or basic trick from an athlete will excite the crowd and get them to their feet. Utah fans just shrug and go that was it? They want to see that envelope pushed because they know its possible and they want to see that happen so they bring their energy, they passion and they scream till they are hoarse pushing every athlete to bring their best to the stadium.”
“When you get to watch a movie the second time around, you notice things that you missed the first time, but at the same time you also begin to memorize the script because it is the same. Each time we hold a Nitro World Games, we want to change the script and make it even better allowing action sports fans to experience the best the community has to offer one time a year.”
Tickets start at $19 each while Nitro Club VIP tickets – the best seats in the house plus a special VIP experience – are $79 each (all ticket prices plus applicable service fees).