It is with heavy hearts that organisers of the Monster Energy AUS-X Open Melbourne confirmed officially today that the event will not run in 2020, with focus and resources instead shifting to develop a bigger and better international Supercross and action sports blockbuster for next year.
The Monster Energy AUS-X Open Supercross event has become a staple event for action sports fans globally, drawing international crowds and talent since it’s inception in 2015. In 2019, the largest Supercross event ever held in the Southern Hemisphere and outside the USA, took place inside Melbourne’s iconic Marvel Stadium; with 35,000 fans coming from all over Australia and overseas, to see some of the world’s best dirt bike athletes compete.
Unfortunately, the unpredictable nature and associated health risks with the COVID-19 virus, as well as subsequent domestic and international border restrictions, have made it impossible to safely conduct an event of the AUS-X Open’s magnitude in 2020.
The 2019 Monster Energy AUS-X Open Melbourne event has been recently announced as a national finalist in the Best Sporting Event of the Year recognised by Australian Event Awards, an award that AUS-X Open’s Co-Founder and Director – Ryan Sanderson believes would be outstanding to win and is a very satisfying reminder for what was achieved by the event organisers last year.
“Having to cancel this year’s AUS-X Open following such an incredible first event in Melbourne last year and our largest AUS-X Open ever, is extremely disappointing for all involved. However these are very challenging times, for not only the whole events and sporting industry, but every single person has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way this year.
We are so proud of our whole team and we are so grateful to have held the largest and most prestigious international Supercross event ever in Australian history. We are more motivated than ever to ensure each AUS-X Open will continue to grow, evolve and be better each year and we will work tirelessly to improve the entertainment, experiences and event satisfaction for our amazing fans, as we push to grow the sport of Supercross and continue attracting fans from all over Australia and the world to the AUS-X Open Melbourne,” said Sanderson.
The 2019 AUS-X Open Melbourne event was an engineering feat, arguably unmatched by any Supercross event in the world, with over 5,100 Railway Sleepers and 1,856 Steel Prop supports imported and constructed in the lower level carpark, to handle and hold the immense pressure of over 850 truckloads and up to 6,000 tonnes of dirt, machinery and infrastructure, all positioned in the centre of Australia’s largest indoor stadium.
Over 14,000 fans travelled from outside Victoria and overseas to attend, injecting a reported $22 Million into the local economy. Coupled with a live and as-live Australian television audience on Network Ten and Fox Sports, as well as distribution to over 98 countries and over 380 Million Households around the world, the AUS-X Open has established itself as one of the most prestigious Supercross and action sports events in the world.
The racing on-track saw American Justin Brayton take his first AUS-X Open victory, whilst Jason Anderson wrapped up the FIM Oceania Championship. Young Victorian Jayo Archer landed his first ever double backflip in competition, taking home the FMX Best Trick Gold Medal in front of his hometown fans.
Following the immense momentum generated in 2019, organisers at AME Management immediately opened discussions with an all-new international rider line-up to compete at this year’s event, along with establishing plans for further enhanced entertainment elements to create the best version of the event to date. All of which will be put on ice for 2021.
“We’re devastated we won’t be able to show all of our fans what we had in store for them in 2020. Having a year under our belt inside Marvel Stadium, gave us so many key learnings, that we looked forward to taking into this year. We also were having some really positive discussions with riders that have never been seen before in Australia and that we know our fans want to see.
Whilst we’re as disappointed as anyone that Covid has put a stop to this year, we’ll just use the extra time we have, to ensure 2021 is absolutely off the charts.”
With this in mind, 2021 is sure to be an unmissable experience for action sports fans both domestically and worldwide, however the AUS-X Open team have also moved to shift their focus in the meantime, towards generating grass-roots support for the motocross industry.
“The pandemic has definitely put strain on sports and facilities throughout Australia and grass roots motocross clubs are no different. They need help to improve the quality of the experience for riders and also, to attract new riders and families into motocross. We intend to focus time and energy that would be used up on our events this year, to help build the sport from a grass roots level. Watch this space!”
As mentioned, all event focus shifts to 2021, as organisers aim to make next year’s edition the most memorable one yet.