Jan 24, 2022 - News

Scoop: Red Bull Soapbox Race is coming to Des Moines

A photo of a soapbox racing down the steps of the Iowa Capitol.
Red Bull Soapbox officials have considered hosting a DSM event for several years, testing this small-scale version at the Capitol in March of 2020. Photo courtesy of Ryan Taylor/Red Bull content pool

Red Bull Soapbox Race — promoted as "the world's wildest downhill” competition — is coming to Des Moines on June 18, organizers told Axios.

Why it matters: The races have attracted tens of thousands of spectators in places like Los Angeles and Hong Kong. This will be Red Bull's first competition in Iowa.

  • At least 25,000 people are expected to attend the Des Moines races, with an economic impact of $1 million, Greg Edwards, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Axios.

Details: The competition involves amateur teams of five people who navigate through obstacles using homemade carts.

  • Judges will rank the teams based on creativity, speed and showmanship.

The intrigue: Hy-Vee and Casey's are sponsoring the event and adding special features or prizes, based on things like speed and how well a cart reflects its community.

  • One of the prizes will be free Casey's pizza for a year.

Take part: The course will run along East Walnut Street from East 12th and East 7th streets.

  • Red Bull is accepting applications through March 18. Up to 50 teams will be selected to participate.
  • Viewing is free and open to the public.

What to watch: Red Bull will announce more specifics, such as the schedule and a list of celebrity judges, in coming months.

  • A formal announcement will be made Monday at 2:15pm at the State Capitol.
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