Detroit is generally regarded by the rest of America as, for want of a better term, a hellhole.
The once-thriving automotive economy has basically gone kaput, dragging Detroit’s economy, culture and urban landscape down with it.
As a tourist destination, the Motor City ranks somewhere in between Syria and a pit full of used diapers.
That’s why it’s pretty amazing to see what the city has done in its bid to host the 2014-2016 X Games. Although we had been teased with a quickie video in recent weeks, yesterday the bid committee unleashed this masterpiece onto the interwebs:
The genius of the video is that it doesn’t try to sugarcoat Detroit’s grime and decay — it embraces and celebrates Detroit’s grime and decay.
Cars spin donuts on the roofs of abandoned factories, motorcyclists barrel down potholed streets, dirtbikers careen through vacant lots, skateboarders grind through slums, and heavy metal vocalists scream their angry faces off. Meanwhile, a ragtag group of supporters march through the derelict city like the cast of Les Miserables, waving a banner bearing the #XG2D hashtag.
ESPN, the creator of the X Games, announced in April that the X Games would be leaving its native Los Angeles. Thanks to intense grassroots campaigning, Detroit earned bidding rights– along with Chicago, Austin and Charlotte — in hopes of hosting the X Games for three consecutive years beginning in 2014.
ESPN will decide next month which of the four bidding cities will become the next host of the X Games.
It would seem Detroit has become the early front-runner, hellhole or not.