The traditional season opener in Mexico City (MEX) was a staple of the Red Bull X-Fighters calendar from 2005 to 2010.
After a two-year break, the Mexican capital is back on the tour schedule to kick off the 2013 season and rightly so. The city offers a stunning backdrop and is the perfect venue for the Red Bull X-Fighters. Each year, a capacity crowd of 42,000 packs the Monumental Plaza de Toros to cheer on the FMX dare-devils with huge drums and the traditional white cloths made famous by fans at football matches and bullfights.
Indeed, this bullfighting element is an integral component of life in Mexico: its complicated rules and regulations contain a whole series of hidden symbols whose meanings go far beyond that of a battle of man vs beast.
In 2005, the first international event saw Ronnie Renner continue US dominance at the Red Bull X-Fighters. In 2006, though, that domination was ended when Swiss star Mat Rebeaud beat Travis Pastrana in Mexico.
Rebeaud has been the most successful rider here, with wins in 2006 and 2008, fourth in 2007 and third place in 2009.
Only one Rookie has ever won here - Levi Sherwood - the defending Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour champion - who surprised everyone with his unique style on his first international contest.
The bullring in the Monumental Stadium is only 43m wide and with a total area of just 1452m2 it's the smallest playground on the 2013 tour. To date, no rider has competed in all six rounds in Mexico City. Eigo Sato, Dany Torres and local rider Johan Nungaray participated five times and share the top position for the most starts. Norway's André Villa won the last event back in 2010. The event was cancelled halfway through due to heavy rain handing Villa his first and only Red Bull X-Fighters victory as the top qualifier. The site of the bullring at the Plaza de Toros is actually 20m below street level as the area was originally used as a quarry for brick-making.
The site was developed in 1939 by entrepreneur Neguib Don Simon, who wanted to build centre for sporting excellence in the city. The complex was designed to incorporate boxing and wrestling rings, a bull ring, tennis courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, an artificial beach, a football stadium, restaurants and housing. It was designed to be comfortable and truly monumental with huge statues of bullfighters dominating the plaza.
Neguib's dream never came true as the project ran out of money and only the bullring and football stadium could be finished. The dream was to cost Simon his entire fortune. The bullring was built by the engineer C. Roland and opened in February 1946 and proved a huge success, attracting capacity crowds to watch the best bullfighters of the era perform in the arena. Spanish venture capitalist D . Moisés Cosio bought the complex in the opening year from the Simon brothers and his family owns it to this day.
Get ready for the future and buy YOUR ticket for the upcoming Red Bull X-Fighters Event HERE.