(Columbus, February 26, 2019) – The world’s largest multi-sport festival – the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival – returns to the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) and additional local venues from February 28 through March 3 with the biggest festival yet.

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 is nothing that matches what we do in Columbus in terms of scope. Our advance sales are greater than ever before and we’re offering new events. By far, this is the biggest event we’ve ever had,” said Jim Lorimer, festival co-founder. “Arnold and I believe the greatest benefit of this event is the amount of lives we can affect in the community.”

“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

“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 GCCC venue itself is a cashless facility. This includes all GCCC operated concessions and all in-lane GCCC parking transactions. However, within the GCCC, there are individual contracted vendors and outlets who, at their discretion, may accept cash.