COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Arnold Sports Festival returns to Columbus this week with its first full show since 2019.
Thousands of athletes and spectators from around the world are expected to visit central Ohio over the four-day, multi-sport event.
Organizers said the 34th annual Arnold Classic will look much like fans remember in 2019. In addition to more than 60 sporting events, spectators can also visit the Arnold Expo at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
The Expo floor will feature more than 800 vendor booths with the latest in sports equipment, apparel, and nutrition.
Local businesses, hotels, and restaurants expected a much-needed boost in customer revenue over the four days of the festival.
“We’ve made a number of additional investments in the show, people are going to see a fit and finish that is probably the best in Arnold history,” said Brian Powers, executive director of the Arnold Sports Festival. “We’ve added a Strong Man Arena and doubled the size of our seating capacity in that area at almost 6,000 people.”
“Prior to the pandemic, the economic impact of the Arnold Sports Festival was around $50 million when they came in, so it is a very large and important part of the economy,” said Brian Ross, CEO for Experience Columbus, a group which fosters tourism to Columbus and central Ohio.
As the show’s founder, actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be making a number of appearances at various events throughout the festival, which begins Thursday.