2019-20 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Circuit category

Joey Chestnut posted a picture of a practice session for 2020 Nathan's hot dog eating contest to his instagram.
Joey Chestnut did an interview on KROQ yesterday. He says that Nathan's hopes to have some type of July 4 competition, but plans have yet to be fixed. They are looking at a Brooklyn site for the event away from the traditional Coney Island venue.
OddsCovers.com has a list of bets offered on the 2020 Nathan's finals. Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo remain the favorites. One of the wagers offered is PETA activists disrupting the competition. Betting against this proposition (bet $1400 to win $100) could be free money if the contest is held without spectators.
News 12 reports that Coney Island USA will cancel or postpone all their programming for the forseeable future. One of the non profit organization's events is the Mermaid Parade. The article did not mention Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest.

AMNY on Coney Island 2020

AMNY has an article about the prospects for Coney Island which includes quotes from George Shea on options for Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest:

The popular Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest also hangs, in the balance with several proposals by George Shea, the organizer and “ring master” of the event, as he tries to find an alternative way to hold the Independence Day hot dog extravaganza that normally attracts thousands.

The contest itself isn’t officially canceled. Shea is looking at ways to hold the July 4 ‘gorgefest’ behind closed doors, possibly without a crowd as Major League Baseball is proposing.

Shea, the eternal optimist, is being hit badly by the pandemic. Many of his projects involve large crowds.

“We can hold the Hot Dog Eat contest with 10 people if we needed,” said Shea, who views the contest as American as apple pie and a proud Fourth of July tradition.

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Joey Chestnut did an interview for News 12 which reports that representatives from MLE are not sure if the 2020 Nathan's finals will take place in 2020.
The Giant National Capital BBQ Battle has rebranded itself as a "Virtual Experience", so a Nathan's qualifier will probably not take place in Washington, DC on June 27 or 28. In February, Washington, DC was listed as a planned site on the 2020 qualifier circuit. Nathan's qualifiers have been held at the festival from 2016-2019.
The Ocean City (MD) Air Show announces that it will be postponed and hopes to be rescheduled in July or August. A Nathan's qualifier was to have been held at the event on June 13.
Peter McConeghy reports that the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest countdown clock has stopped.
Andrew Molitor has started a youtube channel documenting his quest to qualify for Nathan's titled "Making a Meat Murderer".

Coronavirus outbreak at Smithfield Foods meatpacking plant

The New York Times ranked Smithfield Foods meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls, SD as the #4 coronavirus hotspot in the United States after 190 cases were detected there. In 2014, Nathan’s Famous started a licensing agreement with Smithfield Foods for it to manufacture and distribute Nathan’s branded hot dogs. update The plant will be shutdown for three days to sanitize the facility. PBS.org has a report on the 2013 takeover of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International for $4.7 billion, the largest Chinese takeover of any American company.

update Apr 12 Smithfield announced today the plant would be closed for an indefinite period

“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply. It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running. These facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain, first and foremost our nation’s livestock farmers. These farmers have nowhere to send their animals,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer, for Smithfield.

update April 14 There are now 545 coronavirus cases associated with the facility, which makes it the #2 hotspot according to the New York Times and the top located in the 50 states. (The overall #1 is an aircraft carrier currently in Guam).

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Bovada.lv has started taking bets on the 2020 Nathan's Finals. Joey Chestnut is a -1000 (bet $1000 to win $100) favorite with the men's field at +550 (bet $100 to win $550). In the women's division, In the female division, Miki Sudo is a -900 favorite with the field at +500. Additional proposition bets are available, including wagering on PETA disrupting the contest.
TMZ has an interview with Joey Chestnut, who says he is training for the 2020 Nathan's finals even though he thinks they are in doubt. He would be willing to do a solo exhibition if the event is cancelled.
New York City hotels are hoping for a July 1 reopening date, which would make a Nathan's hot dog contest on July 4 a possibility.
Major League Baseball announced that it deferring opening day until at least mid-May, so there will be no Nathan's qualifers at baseball games until that time.
MGM Resorts announced that it will suspend operations for its Las Vegas properties starting Tuesday. The sites include the New York New York Hotel Casino, which has a Nathan's qualifier scheduled for April 4. update The venue's twitter confirmed the shutdown.
Darron Breeden wants to perform the national anthem at the Nathan's finals on his electric guitar.

Preliminary 2020 Nathan’s qualifier circuit

Here is how the 2019-2020 Nathan’s qualifier circuit is shaping up:

Apr 4 Las Vegas, NV
Jun 13 Ocean City, MD
? Washington, DC (probably Jun 27 at @BBQinDC)
? Hershey, PA
? Pleasanton, CA

May 15 Cincinnati, OH
Jun 21 Queens, NY

Apr 7/ May 12/ Jun 9 Denver, CO

Already held
Jul 23 Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 10 Des Moines, IA

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Registration will open tomorrow for the first 2020 Nathan's Famous qualifier to be held April 4 at New York New York in Las Vegas. A qualifier has been held at that location every year since at least 2003. Michelle "Cardboard Shell" Lesco has won the past five women's divisions of the competition; Max Suzuki has a two year streak for the men.
MDCoastDispatch.com reports that a Nathan's Famous qualifer has been approved by the city council of Ocean City, MD and will take place on June 13. update Feb 21 Delmarvanow.com has an article about the qualifier in which Rich Shea says that additional qualifiers will take place in Hershey, PA, Washington, DC and Pleasanton, CA. There will be a total of 12 competitions on the circuit, which may or may not include the two that were held in the second half of 2019.
MDCoastDispatch.com has an article about the possibility of a Nathan's Famous qualifier being held in Ocean City, MD on June 13 during the Ocean City Air Show.
5dimes is now offering +350 odds (bet $1 to win $3.50) on someone besides Miki Sudo winning the 2020 Nathan's womens finals, a considerable drop from the +600 offered on January 24.
Corbucci from Brazil has posted a video (with English subtitles) of his Nathan's Famous hot dog training session. He hopes to compete in the 2020 Miami Marlins qualifier if it is held.
The May 15 Cincinnati Reds game will be presented by Nathan's Famous, so that is the probable date for the 2020 Ohio qualifier. Nathan's will present the August 16 St. Louis Cardinals game, which would be on the 2020-21 circuit if a qualifier is held then.
Nathan's Famous is listed as the presenter for the Father's Day cap promotion for the June 21 Mets game, so the 2020 New York City Nathan's qualifier will probably be on that date.
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