The Arnold Fitness EXPO, scheduled to take place in Columbus, OH from March 6 to 8, has been postponed due to coronavirus precautions. The strongman and bodybuilding events, as part of the Arnold Sports Festival, will take place but no spectators will be allowed.

The Arnold Fitness EXPO has over 200,000 attendees and is the nation’s largest health and fitness exposition. It annually showcases leading businesses and organizations featuring the latest trends in the fitness industry.

Organizers said the event has been canceled in accordance with CDC guidelines regarding large gatherings of people during the current coronavirus situation. Up to 20,000 athletes are due to arrive at the convention center to take part in 80-plus sports and fitness events.

“It’s a very sad day for me today because we just had to cancel the Arnold Classic Sports and Fitness Festival, meaning the huge convention, with 25,000 people coming together,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a video statement on Twitter, adding: “We still will have the Arnold Classic World Bodybuilding Championship, and the Strongman competition, but the rest of it is all canceled, or should I say postponed, because we will have it later on this year.”

“I think it was a wise decision, because under the circumstances, listening to the governor’s concern, the mayor’s concern, the CDC’s concern and all the expert scientists and the health community and the doctors, I think it was the right thing to do because we want to keep people safe,” he continued. “We want to keep people healthy. We are promoting the health and fitness convention. So to us, we are the biggest and the best in the world, but making money is less important than being healthy and promoting health and fitness. We want people to stay healthy and fit, that’s what it’s all about. So, we will postpone it, we will keep you up to date.”

Schwarzenegger made the decision after discussing options with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. Schwarzenegger and Jim Lorimer have co-produced the Arnold Sports Festival since 1989 when it debuted as a one-day bodybuilding competition known as the Arnold Classic.

Photo courtesy Arnold Fitness EXPO