Featuring more than 200,000 attendees, plus 22,000 athletes from 80 nations around the world competing in 80 events and 17 Olympic sports, the Arnold Sports Festival showcases more athletes than the summer and winter Olympics combined. It has also expanded to include additional festivals in Australia, Europe, South America and South Africa.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into this event every year. We always overdeliver,” said event namesake and co-founder Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I’m looking forward to coming to Columbus and being part of the experience.”
New events include armlifting, Arnold Education, foosball, futsal, high school weightlifting, Ninja Warrior, speed cubing and the Viking Dash Trail Runs.
A highlight of the festival is the 1,000-booth Arnold Fitness EXPO held in four contiguous exhibit halls comprising 373,000 square feet. The EXPO features live entertainment on multiple stages and hundreds of vendors offering products ranging from nutritional supplements to business services appealing to fitness enthusiasts.
Hours for the Arnold Fitness EXPO will be:
· Friday, March 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
· Saturday, March 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
· Sunday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
VIP and Fast Pass Entry will be open one hour earlier each day for an additional charge.
There will be entertainment on the EXPO, Rogue Strength, Concourse and Midway Labs USA Stages.
There are additional venues hosting festival events, including the Ohio Expo Center, home of the popular Arnold Sportsworld Kids and Teens EXPO March 2-3.
Tickets for admission to the Arnold Fitness EXPO are $25. Kids age 14 and under are admitted free with an adult paying admission. Some events have an additional charge.
Tickets can be purchased at the venue and in advance at www.ticketmaster.com.
“We’re excited to welcome back our marquee event and our partners in the Lorimer Family,” said GCCC General Manager John Page. “The festival fills our expanded convention center, with even more venues hosting activity as additional athletic events are added to the mix each year.”
The award-winning, 1.8-million-square-foot Greater Columbus Convention Center is owned and developed by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and managed by SMG. The GCCC offers 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit hall space, 75 meeting rooms and three ballrooms with a total of 114,00 square feet. The facility is the home of the first indoor, vertical, LED-illuminated hydroponic Smartfarm within a convention center and the largest contemporary collection of central Ohio art, including the popular As We Are interactive sculpture.
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 243 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 19 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide.
Visit www.columbusconventions.com and www.smgworld.com for more information.