The world of Summer X Sports, and street skateboarding in particular, just got turned upside down today, with the official launch of Rob Dyrdek's new Street League Skateboarding.
Here's the press release:
Announcing Street League Skateboarding™; the Future of Competitive
The world’s best street skateboarders sign to the first million dollar professional tour with three stops in 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 24, 2010) – Street League Skateboarding™ announced today that for the first time in history, street skateboarding competition has been organized into its very own professional league, with the best skateboarders in the world competing head-to-head in a series of individual tour stops in the summer of 2010. Founded by twenty-year professional skateboarder and entrepreneur, Rob Dyrdek, Street League™ is truly the future of competitive street skateboarding.
Signed to multi-year contracts, a total of twenty-four of the world’s biggest skateboarding stars will compete in Street League™ exclusively. The first pros that have signed are arguably the top skateboarders in the world and include Chris Cole, Ryan Sheckler, Greg Lutzka, Torey Pudwill, PJ Ladd, Sean Malto, Mike Mo Capaldi, Mikey Taylor, Billy Marks, Tommy Sandoval, and Paul Rodriguez. The Street League™ pros will be battling it out for more than $1MM in prize money on a 3-stop arena tour this summer.
Dyrdek, in discussing the origins of the league says, “It has been a dream of mine to create a professional tour that bridges the gap between true street skateboarding and contest skating, which to date has been fragmented and misguided. Street League™ is more than just a new contest series; it will redefine the way skateboarding competitions are done.”
Chris Cole, 2009’s Dew Tour Champion, Maloof Money Cup Winner, two-times X Games gold medalist and Thrasher’s Skater of the Year, in regards to his exclusive commitment to Street League™ adds, “It’s what we have always wanted – it’s a contest circuit that is actually created, owned, and operated by skaters.”
To maximize the talents of these street skateboarding stars, Street League™ has designed authentic concrete skate plazas to be built on the floors of world-class sports arenas. In addition, Street League™ brings with it the exclusive use of the instant scoring technology, ISX (Instant Scoring Experience™), to the world of skateboarding. Using real time scoring and an exciting proprietary format, Street League™ will tell a compelling story about each skateboarder’s performance and will have fans on the edge of their seats from the first trick to the very last.
The inaugural year of Street League™ features a 3-stop arena tour beginning at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona on August 28th, Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California on September 11th, and the final stop in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center on September 25th. The skaters will be competing at each event for the largest prize pool in skateboarding history.
Street League™ is the culmination of more than five years of development, which began with a professional contest Dyrdek held at the opening of the world’s first skate plaza he built in Kettering, Ohio in 2005. Building on the knowledge gained from this event, Dyrdek and his team began planning for the launch of the league, consulting for and developing several major skateboarding events to serve as additional case studies.
IMG Action Sports, the go-to event production company in the industry, is producing and executing Street League™ in 2010. The worldwide leader in skate park design and construction, California Skateparks™, will provide skate plaza construction. Instant Scoring Experience™ is a partnership between MXi, Dialsmith, and Street League™.
For more information go to www.streetleague.com.
About Street League Skateboarding ™
Street League Skateboarding™ is the first sports entertainment property that gives professional street skateboarding its very own league for individual competition. Street League™ features the exclusive participation of the world’s best professionals, over $1MM in prize money, and real skate plaza course design inside world-class arenas. Driven by the need to enhance the experience of live professional street skateboarding, Street League™ utilizes real-time scoring and a proprietary format that makes every trick count. Street League™ is the brainchild of twenty-year professional skateboarder and entrepreneur, Rob Dyrdek. More information is available at www.streetleague.com.
Now, what does this mean for the average fan? It means that the Alli Sports Dew Tour, and possibly ESPN's X-Games, have just been robbed of it's biggest draws. Since the press release stresses that the stars listed above are skating exclusively for StreetLeague, if i'm interpreting it correctly (and please correct me if I'm not), we have to assume that means that the people who have signed are NOT free to compete elsewhere. While the X-Games may be able to weather the move, the Alli Dew Tour, which has built much of it's street skateboarding around Ryan Sheckler for it's entire five year run, might not.
Here's my take on this - The Alli Dew Tour is returning to Boston this year...and I'm thinking about NOT going. I went last year and had a blast. I'd love to go again. But we're not getting the BMX group here again - Boston will once again be skateboard only, dammit anyway - and Street League has just snatched away most of the people in street skate that interest me - Cole, P-Rod, Sheckler - and I don't know if I'm willing to shell out big bucks to see just Chaz Ortiz and Ryan Decenzo - I want to see the bigger names too. So my ticket to this year's Boston stop is now riding ENTIRELY on whether or not Shaun White will be on the tour this year competing in vert - he hasn't yet made up his mind, and was leaning against it last time I checked. As much as I love Bucky, Bob, Rob L, Sandro, and the others, I saw all of them last year...and if "The Animal" isn't there, I most likely won't be either.
Today's announcement is sure to send shockwaves throughout the summer skateboard comp community and I'll be here with coverage here, on InTheXone, and briefly on Subject:CINEMA as well.
Fasten your seat belts, kiddies, it's going to be a bumpy summer...
UPDATE: According to ESPN, Dyrdek's contracts with his participating skaters allow them to compete in 2 other events during this inaugural year, but lock them in to only StreetLeague events beginning next year. This means that his skaters can pick two other competitions to compete in this spring - my money is on Maloof Money Cup, just two weeks away, and the X-Games in August. Most likely, the summer Alli Dew Tour will be left out in the cold, despite the heat of summer.