2020 Nathan’s finals to be held without fans

updateMiki Sudo recorded a video about the contest. She says (around 3:00) that the field will not be selected solely on MLE ranking but that geographic location and media availability will also be considered.

A press release (screen capture) announces that the July 4, 2020 Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest will be held without fans at an undisclosed Coney Island location. Five men and five women will compete; defending champions Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo are the only listed competitors. ESPN will televise the contest at noon Eastern with Mike Golic, Jr. replacing Adam Amin as commentator. The women’s division will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2 for the first time with a starting time of 12:20 pm. The Wall Street Journal has a paywalled article.

Comments (19)


  1. Larellmarie said (Registered May 9, 2010)

    June 16, 2020 @ 12:57 pm

    Certainly a different take on it. Glad that there still will be a contest!

  2. Anonymous said

    June 17, 2020 @ 12:06 pm

    I do not know why they bother. I guess it is history, they want to be able to say not cancelled like other contests. Their contract with ESPN must be worth a lot of money if they insist upon having the contest. It will surely be boring.

  3. All About Money said

    June 17, 2020 @ 2:36 pm

    That’s the bottom line.

  4. TheWrench said (Registered September 2, 2019)

    June 17, 2020 @ 6:02 pm

    “Major League Eating and individual eaters will make donations to food banks and use the contest as a platform to highlite the work of these organizations. The contest also will be used as a platform to honor essential workers in New York City..” That alone is a good enough reason to bother, on top of the 100k hot dogs that get donated to the food bank for NYC.

  5. Select few said

    June 17, 2020 @ 6:39 pm

    Nobody good will be there. Those who deserve it will be excluded.

  6. Anonymous said

    June 17, 2020 @ 8:39 pm

    No Stonie?
    It would be nice if he compete and tried to get the title back just like in 2015 when I saw him at the contest over there.
    Win or lose, Stonie is always the GOAT and is awesome.

  7. Finish it said

    June 18, 2020 @ 6:17 am

    Let Sudo get destroyed already. We are tired of the games.

  8. Anonymous said

    June 18, 2020 @ 9:45 am

    Male competitor slate, based on ranking and proximity to NYC:
    Two of these three:

    Female slate:
    Probably DiBenedetto
    No one else is close to NYC, so ???

  9. Anonymous said

    June 18, 2020 @ 3:45 pm

    @9:45 – Larell is close to NYC

  10. Anonymous said

    June 18, 2020 @ 7:36 pm

    Sonya could drive there though she has not competed for a long time.

  11. ojrifkin said (Registered July 27, 2005)

    June 19, 2020 @ 12:20 am

    Julie Goldberg also lives in NYC.

  12. Anonymous said

    June 19, 2020 @ 5:49 am

    Crazy Legs will no doubt be there.

  13. TheWrench said (Registered September 2, 2019)

    June 19, 2020 @ 4:58 pm

    If I had to guess on the mens side: Joey, Esper, Breeden, Stonie, Badlands, if not Stonie/Badlands then maybe Gideon and Nick W would be my alternative guesses.

    On the ladies side I would guess: Sudo, Lesco, Goldberg, Larell, and Reinecke.

    I am not 100% buying into they are looking at people geographically closest.

  14. Anonymous said

    June 20, 2020 @ 3:31 pm

    Badlands is not competing is he? I thought he was just there to be like an emcee like he does for every year.

  15. Anonymous said

    June 20, 2020 @ 6:55 pm

    There will only be a virtual audience, and I expect the contest will be shorter than usual overall.

  16. Anonymous said

    June 20, 2020 @ 8:52 pm

    He did a radio interview that is somewhat confusing. The hosts make it seem like he is competing, but he never specifically says he is or isn’t. https://wqam.radio.com/media/audio-channel/06-19-2020-badlands-booker

  17. Anonymous said

    June 23, 2020 @ 8:31 pm

    is molly schuyler in it?

  18. ojrifkin said (Registered July 27, 2005)

    June 23, 2020 @ 11:29 pm

    The field has yet to be announced, but it will probably only be MLE members which will keep out Molly.

  19. Anonymous said

    June 24, 2020 @ 9:07 am

    Probably. Use that term loosely.

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