2021 Arnold Sports Festival USA Delayed, Exact Dates Unconfirmed

The exact dates aren't clear, but the event will not be taking place in March.

The 2021 Arnold Sports Festival USA has been postponed until later in 2021, according to an announcement made on the event’s official website. Exact dates have yet to be released by the ASF team, though they originally stated that the event would be held in May or June. Any mention of particular dates has since been removed from the site. A source close to Arnold Schwarzenegger told BarBend that a May or June date was news to them.

Arnold is committed to holding the event only when it is safe for everyone, and it is absurd to guess right now — during the biggest spike in coronavirus cases, when hospitals are filling up and almost 3,000 people died today — that May or June will be safe.

In the first week of March 2020, the governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, announced that the expo was canceled and many of the competitive events were to be held without fans. The major contests did take place, but with limited people in attendance. Consequently, the remaining Arnold events throughout the world were canceled entirely. Many people were looking forward to the 2021 event with hopes that it would resemble what many fans remember “The Arnold” to be. That is, a major gathering of fans and athletes celebrating strength, fitness, and health. However, it will be historic for another reason.


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For the first time in 30 years, the Arnold Sports Festival won’t be held in late February or early March. The ASF is still expected to be held in Columbus, Ohio, where it has been held since its inception in 1989. The 2020 Arnold Sports Festival Europe is set for Dec. 11-13, 2020, and no announcement has been made about those dates changing on the website. 

The ASF is best known for the Arnold Classic bodybuilding contest as well as the Arnold Strongman Classic and the International Sports Hall of Fame ceremony. All-in-all, the ASF hosts over 22,000 athletes from 80 nations who compete in 80-plus events and competitions throughout the weekend — such as weightlifting, powerlifting, kettlebell sport, various martial arts, dance, and even body painting. There is also the expo, where fans gather to check out their favorite supplement and fitness brands and meet athletes and influencers. 

We will update this article with more details as they’re revealed. 

Featured image: @arnoldsports on Instagram / photo by Christopher Bailey