Guide: Get To Know Minneapolis
Welcome to Minneapolis
Welcome to X Games Minneapolis 2017. This is the 26th X Games summer event and the first in Minnesota. You wouldn't guess it, but Minneapolis is also home to quite a few action sports athletes spanning the winter and summer events at X Games. And just in time for X Games Minneapolis 2017, XGames.com has gathered up some fast facts to get to know Minneapolis before dropping in.
The Minneapolis scene
Seventy-eight X Games athletes have listed Minnesota as their home state. A few notables include snowmobilers Tucker Hibbert and Levi LaVallee, Moto X Adaptive and SnoCross Adaptive racer Mike Schultz, BMX Tom Haugen and skateboader Alec Majerus. The city of Minneapolis is also home to a healthy BMX and skate scene thanks to shops such as Familia and 24-hour private park The Factory. Snow can't keep this scene down.
Land of 10,000 Lakes
Within city limits, Minneapolis has 12 lakes of at least 10 acres or more. The largest and most popular are Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, Lake Nokomis, Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles (pictured here). Minnesota might be known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but there are even more than that: 11,842 lakes of at least 10 acres or more.
Skating downtown Minneapolis
These local banks, located in downtown Minneapolis, are not too difficult to find if one goes looking. They're dubbed the "Taco Banks," but good luck Googling that term and finding them. Instead, you'll probably find a good place to eat tacos in downtown Minneapolis. Jimmy Wilkins did both in the summer of 2016.
In 2017, Minnesota was ranked as the least-stressed state in the country, according to a story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Part of the reason behind the low stress level is Minneapolis' approach to avoiding traffic: It's simple to get anywhere on the Metro line in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and that ease will definitely add to the X Games experience.
Bicycling Magazine ranked Minneapolis as the sixth-best biking city in the country. To add to that experience, Nice Ride Minnesota offers fast, easy and affordable bike sharing throughout the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. There are more than 1,800 bicycles offered by Nice Ride, which are available to rent and return 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is part of the Walker Art Center, and features often-photographed sculptures such as Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's "Spoonbridge and Cherry." The garden opened in 1988 and is open 365 days a year from 6 a.m. to midnight.
First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis is a scant walk away from X Games Minneapolis. It was the launching pad for many Twin Cities-based musical acts, including Prince, the Replacements and Soul Asylum. Prince owned the club at one point and filmed the concert footage for the iconic movie "Purple Rain" there. If you're in town early, there might also be a chance to score tickets for the X Games kickoff party at First Avenue.
A sporting town
The Twin Cities are home to six major league sports teams: The Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Minnesota Lynx, Minnesota United FC and the Minnesota Wild. To say the area is receptive to sports might be an understatement.
The home of the Guthrie Theater includes the cantilevered "Endless Bridge," which extends 178 feet from the building. The 85,000 square-foot complex holds three theaters, bars and a restaurant on a site along the Mississippi River. The feature is neither endless, nor a bridge, but it does offer one of the best views of the Mississippi River throughout Minneapolis.
Local Moto X talent
We've got to give a shoutout to Ryan Dungey of Belle Plaine, Minnesota (45 miles southwest of Minneapolis), who retired earlier this year after one of the greatest careers in motocross history. Dungey won eight AMA national championships and had 80 victories, which propelled him to two ESPYS for Best Male Action Sports Athlete, an appearance in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue, SportsCenter and the front of a Wheaties box. It's a good bet Dungey will be on hand to watch some of the events at X Games Minneapolis 2017.
Following the death of Prince in 2016, Prince's studio, Paisley Park Studios, in nearby Chanhassen, Minnesota, was opened to the public as a museum and memorial to the musical genius. Here, fans inside Prince's Paisley Park attend Celebration 2017.
The Twin Cities' punk rock heritage stretches back across multiple generations at this point and includes bands such as Husker Du (pictured here) and The Replacements, both of which were featured in early skateboarding videos.
In 1995, professional skateboarder Jason Lee acted in his first major motion picture: Kevin Smith's "Mallrats." The film, which takes place in New Jersey, was filmed in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and helped launched Lee into a successful acting career. These days, Eden Prairie Center, where the movie was filmed, still stands, and fans of Lee's acting and skating often make the pilgrimage to the filming location to pay homage. And once X Games Minneapolis drops in July, the area can claim one more piece of skateboarding heritage.
Deep dive on music
The Electric Fetus is a Minneapolis-based record store founded in 1968 that was frequented by Prince. Go visit, buy some new tunes and experience genuine Minneapolis living at its finest.
Winter in Minneapolis
Yes, it's cold in the winter, but you shouldn't worry about frigid temps in mid-July. Here, the Mississippi River begins to freeze over as winter begins several years ago.
More music references, but what would you expect from a city when it's too cold to go outside most of the year? Craig Finn, the singer, songwriter and guitarist most well known for his contributions to Lifter Puller and the Hold Steady, grew up in the Minneapolis area. Finn's songs often weave character-driven stories together that create distinct narratives of modern-day Americana. Finn's music has also been featured in several well-known BMX videos.
Jimmy Wilkins has an X Games Skateboard Vert gold medal to his name, and he has also shredded modern day Minnesota vert ramps as recently as the summer of 2016. Wilkins will return to fight for another gold in just a few days, but for now, here he eggplants on Minnesota vert turf.