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Dateline Colleyville: August 26, 2001 10:50 AM


Atlanta Site Opens November 2nd; Baltimore, Philadelphia and Dallas to Follow

ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Sports, has entered into a licensing agreement with The Mills Corporation (NYSE:MLS), a leading national retail real estate developer, to create state-of-the-art public skateparks, branded with ESPN's action sports franchise, The X Games, it was announced by Ron Semiao, ESPN's vice president, programming and managing director, Global X Games, and Mark Rivers, Mills' executive vice president and chief strategic officer. The first "X Games Skatepark" will open on Friday, November 2 at Atlanta's Discover MillsSM (a new retail and entertainment center scheduled to open that same day), the first of up to seven X Games Skateparks in development, including four by the end of 2002.

The X Games Skateparks will be targeted at Mills-owned properties throughout the country, including both existing and soon-to-be-built Mills mega-destinations such as Arundel Mills in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, Franklin Mills in Philadelphia and Grapevine Mills in Dallas. 

Each X Games Skatepark will offer public facilities for skateboarding, bike stunt riding (BMX) and in-line skating. They will also be home to national and local exhibitions, including stops on ESPN events such as the Dave Mirra Tour; a large screen television for X Games' viewing parties; a skaters and riders lounge; and a major retail outlet featuring an extensive collection of action sports merchandise, including clothes, equipment, footwear, video games and more.

For the Discover Mills facility, Woodward Camp, the world's premiere action sports camp, will design the skaters and riders facility, in conjunction with ESPN and Mills. Woodward will also develop and operate the first-of-its kind Day Camp, offering instruction and education for young action sports athletes. The parks will offer a décor filled with X Games memorabilia and experience.

In order to utilize an X Games Skatepark, skaters and riders will pay session usage fees for specific skate times, similar to admission to public tennis courts. Furthermore, X Games Skatepark membership opportunities will be available with benefits including preferred skate times, reduced session fees and invitations to special events and demonstrations held at the parks.

"Skateparks are the ball fields of the 21st century," said Semiao. "Working with industry leaders like Mills and Woodward, X Games Skateparks will be an ultimate action sports haven within the popular Mills locations where potential X Games athletes can hone their skills, interact with pro athletes, watch top exhibitions or pick up the latest products and equipment."

Rivers added: "This initiative with ESPN takes the action sports experience to the next level. The X Games is the strongest franchise in the sport, and ESPN has built it into an extraordinary platform for participation, competition and entertainment. We are proud to join the ESPN X Games in creating an out-of-the-box venue that will be out of this world."

X Games Skateparks will consist of:

  •  40-50,000 square feet of space decorated with action sports and X Games memorabilia
  • A skatepark consisting of ramps, halfpipes, bowls, etc. for public skating, BMX riding or in-line skating
  • A retail center stocked with action sports equipment, clothing and products from the industry's leading companies plus X Games merchandise
  • A large screen television for fans to enjoy X Games programming plus computer terminals for Internet access.
  • A skaters and riders lounge; viewing area; and electronic games showcase 

X Games Skateparks - Opening Schedule

Mills Name Market Opening Date
Discover Mills Atlanta, GA November 2, 2001
Arundel Mills Baltimore/Washington, D.C. Early 2002
Franklin Mills Philadelphia, PA Mid-2002
Grapevine Mills Dallas, TX Mid-2002

Other prospective locations

  • Arizona Mills         Phoenix/Tempe, Ariz.
  • Sawgrass Mills        Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Fla.
  • Missouri Mills        St. Louis, Mo.
  • Meadowlands Mills     Northern New Jersey


ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader In Sports, is a multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company, comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Now and ESPN Today), ESPN International (19 international networks and syndication), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Regional Television (the nation's largest syndicator of live sports programming), SportsTicker, and ESPN Enterprises, overseeing brand extensions such as the ESPN Zones, sports-themed dining and entertainment complexes, and consumer products. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

ESPN's X Games franchise includes the Winter X Games, X Games, International X Games Qualifiers, The ESPN Action Sports and Music Awards, X Trials, EXPN.com, EXPN 2Day, The Tony Hawk Gigantic Skatepark Tour and much more.

The Mills Corporation

The Mills Corporation is a self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Arlington, Va., that owns, develops, leases, manages and markets a portfolio of 12 market dominant retail and entertainment destinations (11 Mills and one Block) totaling approximately 17 million square feet in 10 states. Discover Mills, in suburban Atlanta, will open in November 2001.  Currently, the company has five projects under construction and/or development in the United States and two internationally: Toronto, Canada and Madrid, Spain. The company's Internet address is www.millscorp.com.

Known for their large-size and variety of shopping and entertainment, Mills venues are among the top visitor attractions in their respective states - averaging over 18 million consumer visits a year.

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