Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest will be held without fans amid COVID-19

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Nathan's July 4th hot dog eating contest

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, the defending men’s champion, competes in the 2019 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island.

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There will be no fans in the stands at this year’s Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The iconic Coney Island eatery and Major League Eating announced Tuesday the Fourth of July tradition will be held, but with major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual contest will take place in a private location in Coney Island with new safety and social distancing measures.

The 10-minute men’s and women’s contests will include five competitors, instead of the usual 15, to allow for social distancing.

Reigning champions Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo will return to defend their crowns.

Chestnut, a 12-time champion of the hot dog eating contest, holds the world record of 74 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Sudo has won the contest six times.

While the contests will not be held in front of a live audience, they will be aired at noon on ESPN.

Essential workers will be honored during this year’s competition.

Nathan’s Famous will donate 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City. The MLE and competitors will also make donations to food banks, bringing awareness to the increase in food insecurity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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