Today marks the start of the annual muscle fest known as “The Arnold Sports Festival” or just “The Arnold” if you’re in the know — which you are because you’re reading this. Congrats.
Anyway, the Arnold is kind of the real start of the year for the city — the first huge event that draws in international, world-class athletes to lil’ ol’ Columbus. To put it in perspective, the event generally hosts around 20,000 athletics while the Summer Olympics in Rio only hosted around 11,000. Yeah. Double the size of the Olympics and it is only four days long.
Total attendance usually is in the ball park of 200,000 people and all those fit-gurus, flexing body builders and tip-top athletes #pump around 54 million into the local economy. As of right now there are, according to 10tv, around 17,000 hotels already booked for the weekend.
I’ve heard the entire shebang be likened to Columbus’s version of Mardi Gras except instead of beads, drinking and partying you’ve got protein supplements, drinking and partying.
If you’re really into catching a glimpse of Arnold himself, you can probably just hang around outside of Schimdt’s Sausage Haus the next four days, he’ll likely be there.