The 2020 sports calendar has been flipped and re-arranged on all levels thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bodybuilding is no exception. Earlier in the year, it was announced that the Olympia weekend would be rescheduled from September to Dec. 17-20, 2020, but now promoters have had to make another change. On Nov. 18, 2020, Olympia President Dan Solomon announced, over Instagram, that the 2020 Olympia Weekend will move from Las Vegas, NV to Orlando, FL. The date of the event will not change.
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“Everything appeared to be on track when the Nevada governor announced the possibility of a 14-day stay at home order, ” Solomon said in the Instagram video, adding that only 250 fans would have been allowed to attend the event if the order went into effect. “To make this happen, we have no choice but to move the event. My team has begun what will be the most historic and intense production turnaround in the history of this industry.”
This is the first time since 1998 that the Olympia has been held anywhere but Las Vegas, NV. The last venue to see an Olympia was Madison Square Garden. (Fun fact: The 1998 Olympia was where Ronnie Coleman logged his first of eight consecutive Olympia wins.) Solomon expressed that fans, exhibitors, and athletes were on their minds when making the historic move.
”We have an agreement in place that allows us to put on the kind of event that we were hoping to put on,” Solomon continued. “One that will allow fans to experience Olympia weekend, one that will allow exhibitors to connect with more people, and one that will allow the best physiques in the world to feel the energy of their fans on the Olympia stage.”
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The event’s location will now be the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where Solomon recorded the video. The Olympia staff chose this specific location because, according to Solomon, it’s one of the most spacious convention centers he has seen. Also, VIP ticket holders are still set to attend the event but will need to book rooms at the new host hotel — the Hyatt Regency Orlando (connected to the convention center). Those who bought tickets over Ticketmaster will receive an automatic refund and be allowed to repurchase their tickets. Anyone who booked a room at the Planet Hollywood hotel will receive an automatic refund, too.
The Mr. Olympia contest will see 10 divisions compete at the premier bodybuilding show. Though, this is, of course, not the first major sporting event Florida has recently hosted. The World’s Strongest Man was held in Bradenton, and the NBA playoffs took place in Bay Lake.
The Olympia promoters also plan to stream the event on pay-per-view, but details have yet to be officially announced. We will release information on how to watch the event when it’s made available.
Featured Image: @william_bonac on Instagram