Muscle Sport Magazine

Tampa IFBB ‘Bubble’ By Default – Grand Prix Style?

NY Pro

The show must go on. That’s the mentality with the New York Pro and it should be, as it is viewed as the sport’s third most prestigious show following the Olympia and Arnold Classic (Ohio), respectively. Promoters Steve Weinberg and Bev Francis made an attempt to keep the show in the Empire State by pushing it up a few months following the COVID-19 pandemic, but New York governor Andrew Cuomo has not yet opened the state to an event of this size. So they did what was necessary and in a way, this may start a trend of a bodybuilding ‘bubble’ similar to what the NBA and NHL has done.


Since a bodybuilding competition is only a weekend for the most part, it would be a much less arduous task than what the two aforementioned professional sport leagues are currently doing since returning to the hardwood and ice, respectively. The IFBB could set up a controlled environment at the venue (which is also a hotel, making it perfect for housing) and reschedule a few more shows that were cancelled – such as the Boston Pro – between now and the Olympia (December 17-20) to have more opportunities for competitors to qualify for the main event of The Iron Game.



The Tampa Pro went off without hitch and was a success, proving that a large event can be handled safely. The IFBB Pro League should use that as a litmus test and scramble to put together even a Grand Prix style series for those competitors who needs to solidify their spot at the Olympia. When those shows were run in Europe, they were bunched together so that the competitors could stay conditioned and hit the stage multiple times in a short span.


The New York Pro being held months later and in a different state may end up being a blessing in disguise if the IFBB Pro League can use that as a springboard for multiple shows during the months of September, October, November and even the beginning of December.



So far, the NBA bubble in Orlando and the NHL’s in two locations (Edmonton and Toronto) have worked well with limited issues. The NBA had an eight-game continuation of their interrupted regular season to seed the playoff teams, and the NHL went to a tournament style play-in for their playoffs. So it is a complicated process that still has been pulled off and the IFBB Pro League can set up something similar at the Tampa location and the competitors who choose to enter certain shows can have their time in the bubble either long or short. Testing for COVID-19 on site, temperature taking, limited people allowed inside, etc. All of this can be done to put more shows on the calendar.



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