EVENT: Street League Skateboarding Announces International Tour and Year-Round Program
With a historic announcement, Street League Skateboarding (SLS) has extended the season schedule to include the first-ever international Pro Open event, establishing a forum for the world’s best to shine alongside the elite of SLS and qualify directly into the Tour. As a prelude to the 2015 season, the SLS Nike SB Pro Open in Barcelona, Spain, will debut this global program as the first-ever independent international event on the SLS calendar, while at the same time providing an opportunity for the next class of street skateboarders to enter this elite competitive series.
The SLS Nike SB Pro Open marks the second entry event that offers two professional skateboarders the chance to earn a way to compete alongside the exclusive lineup of the 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour. Supported by the recent incorporation of Skatepark of Tampa’s Tampa Pro, Tampa Am and Damn Am contests, the addition of the international SLS Nike SB Pro Open further unlocks the professional competitive space to skateboarding’s rawest talent not yet in SLS, providing a global qualification structure through which to advance toward the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship. “We’re extremely excited to bring the SLS Nike SB Pro Open to international soil; there’s still an unrepresented field of amazing skateboarders out there that deserves to have a chance to earn their way into Street League,” says Brian Atlas, President of SLS. “And to have it take place on a permanent skate plaza being built at the unrivalled mecca in street skateboarding, will create a dream scenario for the kick-off of the 2015 Tour.”
As part of ongoing commitments to grow and sustain skateboarding worldwide, a new concrete skate plaza for the SLS Nike SB Pro Open event in Barcelona will be built and remain permanently in place. Supported by Badalona’s City Council, the plaza named Skate Agora BDN Barcelona has been designed and constructed with the same meticulous dedication as the one-of-a-kind arena courses of the World Tour and is part of a program to establish certified professional-level facilities that endure to enrich communities with a premium and legal place to skateboard. To reinforce this commitment, these skate plazas create the opportunity for future SLS events to return and re-energize the local skateboard community.
“The SLS Pro Open event was an opportunity that changed my life,” informs Matt Berger, SLS Pro who qualified into the League from the first-ever SLS Monster Energy Pro Open in 2014. “Essentially it gives a gateway to skaters who never had the chance before, around the world, to have a shot at skating in Street League.” Berger clearly demonstrated that bringing new talent into the League can make a dramatic impact on roster standings, making history in his rookie season by qualifying all the way to the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship and finishing 7th overall among heavy-hitting League veterans. With the continued addition of new blood, the League ensures the competition line-up pushes skateboarding forward, giving the most progressive and innovative skateboarders in the world the chance to shine and be crowned World Champion.
Following the SLS Nike SB Pro Open in Barcelona, the 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour officially kicks off in Los Angeles, CA, moving on to New York City neighbor Newark, NJ, before its finale in Chicago, IL. The season’s first arena stop will return to skateboarding’s hometown of Los Angeles, where in 2014 SLS saw its first ever sold-out crowd. Also a first in League history, SLS will bring the full 25-Pro League roster out to the East Coast where traditionally fans there have witnessed only the Top 8 Pros battle it out in the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship.
In 2015, the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship will now be held in the America’s heartland in Chicago, bridging the East and West Coast skate scenes. While last year’s history-making Tour saw Nyjah Huston sweep the podium – including winning the Championship crown – this year’s title of Champ could be anyone’s with the additions of the new SLS qualifying events and the comeback of League veterans David Gonzalez, Ryan Sheckler, and Nike SB athlete and 2011 SLS Champion Sean Malto, each of whom sat out the 2014 season due to injuries. “I’ve worked really hard with Nike SB and various rehab specialists to come back from major surgery,” says Malto. “I’ve been skating every day to put myself in a position to be ready for SLS this year and I’m hyped to be back!” With the return of these heavyweights and new qualifiers joining the League, there will be no guarantees in the 2015 standings.
This past weekend, Malto made his return with his first contest in 2015 and the SLS roster shuffle was in full swing with a newly integrated partner event for the SLS Nike SB World Tour. The 21st annual Nike SB Tampa Pro presented by Monster Energy was the new North American Qualifier preceding the official Tour, where two non-SLS Pros earned their spot in the Tour and existing SLS Pros had a chance to gain Championship points. With the standard of skateboarding at an all time high, Nike SB Pro and fan favorite Luan Oliveira shone through to take a well-deserved first place, winning him $20,000 and the Monster Energy Golden Ticket straight to the SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship. Close on his heels were last year’s winner and reigning SLS Champ Nyjah Huston and goofy-footed Brazilian Kelvin Hoefler, who together with Felipe Gustavo are joining this year’s Tour as the newest SLS Pros.
SLS offers options for fans across the world to tune in and watch skateboarding’s most prestigious competition series. Fans in the United States can watch the 2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour on FOX Sports 1 and customers of participating cable and satellite TV providers may access the live stream of the Tour stops through the FOX Sports GO app for iOS, Android, Windows and Kindle devices, as well as on desktops through FOXSportsGO.com. International fans can catch the official live webcast exclusively on StreetLeague.com.
SLS NIKE SB WORLD TOUR DATES AND VENUES:
FOX SPORTS 1 TELECAST SCHEDULE:
2014 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship Re-Air: Thursday, April 23 (8:00 PM – 9:30 PM ET)2015 SLS Nike SB Pro Open Kick-Off Special: Thursday, May 28 (8:00 PM ET– 9:30 PM ET)
2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour: Los Angeles: LIVE: Saturday, July 11 (10 PM ET – 11:30 PM ET)
2015 SLS Nike SB World Tour: New Jersey: LIVE: Sunday, August 23 (5 PM ET – 6:30 PM ET)
2015 SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship: LIVE: Sunday, October 4 (5 PM ET – 7 PM ET)