Last week a letter written by CrossFit Games General Manager Justin Bergh was posted to the Games website. Within it he congratulates the community on “an exceptional Open”, as well as detailing planned expansions to the CrossFit Games website and apps. These include a fully-responsive website customizable profiles, as well as completely re-imagined Games apps. There are also plans in the works to share the televised content of the CrossFit Games season beyond U.S. Borders, which means that the live and tape-delayed shows that were previously exclusive to ESPN will be made available to international broadcasters in the future. This is all great, but the real news bombshell was this:
“The Games have grown tremendously in Carson, California over the last six years, and we’re thrilled about the event we are planning for our 10th year—our seventh at the StubHub Center. However, we’re currently considering new venues for the CrossFit Games, which could mean a move out of Carson as soon as 2017. Part of the search is for locations where the competition and the communal aspects of the Games can further evolve. We’re excited about the possibilities we’ve considered so far.”
That’s certainly big news. The CrossFit Games have been staged at the Stub Hub Center since 2010, and it’s hard to imagine a more effective site for the Games. The size of the venue is large enough to host an athlete village, vendor village, and the presence of different stadia in the football and tennis stadium (as well as an athletic track and the proximity of the Pacific Ocean) has enabled Dave Castro (Director of the CrossFit Games) and the Games organizers to program wide variety of different events over the course of six CrossFit Games. Last year, athletes had to complete the HERO workout Murph, which included two separate one-mile runs around the complex of the Stub Hub center, as well as the pull-up, push-up and squat work that was completed in the stadium itself. The tennis stadium has long been the site of exciting Games moments under the spotlights on Friday and Saturday evening, as well as for the final event of the competition on Sunday. The intimacy of the venue creates a fever-pitch of noise and excitement, with Games athletes describing how they feel that the crowd is literally on top of them, and the fans having the chance to be so close to these elite athletes as they compete.
Yet, it appears that the folks at CrossFit HQ feel that it’s time to grow the competition and find a bigger venue—in every sense of the word. But where could they go? What site offers the freedom and flexibility to create such varied events, as well as host thousands of fans and hundreds of vendors that descend upon the site for a full week of competition? That’s the question on everyone’s minds. What are your ideas?