Debate Continues Over Allowing Fans Into Arnold Sports Fest Athletic Events


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--What originally began as an agreement regarding the cancellation and closing of events to fans at this year's Arnold Sports Festival has now turned to arguments and confusion.

On Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced the Fitness Expo would be canceled, and the athletic events would continue, but without fans in attendance.

Wednesday, organizers of "The Arnold" held a news conference, with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Chief of Staff, Daniel Ketchell, inviting fans to the events.

Ketchell also pointed out that competitions for youth and teens are still on, with parents and coaches in attendance.

That prompted a statement from DeWine and Ginther, released late Wednesday, that reads, "We stand united in our expectation that this event and its organizers abide by the original agreement reached Tuesday. In the event that organizers fail to comply with our agreement, we stand ready to take appropriate action under Ohio law to protect the health and safety of the residents of the state of Ohio and our guests."

The only exceptions outlined in the agreement for "no spectators" are the special ticketed events, like the Strongman Classic Finals and the Physique Finals.

All of this was prompted by fears of the spread of coronavirus, with athletes that are still competing getting screened as they arrive at John Glenn Columbus International Airport, and at "The Arnold".