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Arnold Classic UK to Return in 2024

Roger “Rock” Lockridge

The Arnold Classic has been around since 1989, and it has always taken place in Columbus, Ohio. However, they’ve expanded their reach and touched many other places around the world since then. The Arnold Classic has reached South America, Australia, Asia, Africa, and Spain. Another place they were hosting shows is in the United Kingdom.

The show appeared to be successful in 2021 and there was a lot of anticipation for the 2022 show. After the 2022 event, fans were concerned that there wouldn’t be a contest going forward due to a controversy in management. However, Arnold Schwarzenegger and his US-based team have announced that there will be an Arnold Classic UK once again in 2024, with a weekend of festivities and contests taking place on March 15-17, 2024 in Birmingham. They made the news known in an Instagram post made on June 7th.

“The US-based management team is happy to announce the relaunch of the 2024 Arnold Sports Festival UK. Join us in Birmingham, England, March 15-17, 2024 as next year’s Arnold will boast the biggest names, brands and prize money in Europe — EVER.”

The original Arnold Classic UK was held in 2021 with Schwarzenegger joining forces with 2017 World’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall and other business partners. However, the world was still dealing with restrictions and concerns for the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have affected the success of the show. Aside from bodybuilding and other sports, they had a group of celebrities attend and participate in Q&A seminars. Schwarzenegger himself was unable to attend. The Arnold Classic UK contest was won by Nathan DeAsha.

The 2022 weekend returned to Birmingham, and there was a lot of hype around the variety of celebrities and champion athletes promoted. Jean-Claude Van Damme was one of those celebrities, but he later announced he would not be attending. Others chose not to come for other reasons. One example was eight-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney, who shared he was not attending due to contractual issues. He was also upset that he was being advertised despite him informing the promoters he wasn’t going. Schwarzenegger himself had suffered a leg injury, but he still planned to come until he made a statement regarding financial obligations not being met, which led to him dissolving his participation as well.

It was also revealed that promoter Stephen Oxley was involved in legal matters regarding personal cases against him. Hall quietly resigned his position before the event took place. The weekend went on and Andrew Jacked won the bodybuilding contest, but once the 2022 weekend was over, it was assumed that the Arnold UK was done because there were no plans for the event on the 2023 calendar. Oxley attempted to distance himself from the Arnold Classic brand by attempting to rebrand all of the associated social media and taglines with “Experience With.”

There will still be no 2023 event due to the lack of time to plan it, but Schwarzenegger along with Executive Director Brian Powers have shared their desire to bring a world-class event to Birmingham next year, and based on the success of the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, the fans in England will be in for a weekend they’ll never forget.

Tickets for the 2024 Arnold UK are expected to be available in July 2023.

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