As you may be aware, ESPN Outdoors is shifting its focus and will now be concentrating its energies and resources on BASS and the Saturday Outdoors programming block. In evaluating current and future programming opportunities, ESPN has made the difficult decision that the Great Outdoor Games will not return.
With your partnership and support, the ESPN Great Outdoor Games set a new standard for outdoor sports competition. The event was successful on many fronts, generating strong ratings, passionate crowds, two Sports Emmy awards and other honors and we wish to thank all who contributed to those successes. We hope you will continue to support ESPN Outdoors as we begin a new chapter in its development.
I’ll admit we all saw it coming after they suspended the 2006 games. Because 2005 in Orlando, FL was a logistical flop on a multi-million dollar scale, it comes as no surprise they have been terminated. But still, I kind of feel like I’ve been kicked in the stomach right now. I have a lot of great memories from ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games. Three years in Lake Placid, NY, one year in Reno, NV, one year in Madison, WI, and the final year in Orlando, FL are wonderful memories that will not soon be forgotten. I’m fortunate enough to be tied with David Bolstad with 14 medals, the most ever won from the contest. Without the games, my sister and I would never have won ESPY awards.
ESPN, thank you for your support and publicity over the years. It will not be soon forgotten.