Hot dog eating contest returns to Coney Island Nathan’s

The 2022 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest is returning to its home at Nathan’s flagship restaurant on Coney Island after it was held at different locations for the last two years because of the pandemic.

Perennial champion Joey Chestnut and the world’s top-ranked female eater, Miki Sudo, will headline the contest on July 4 outside the New York hot dog landmark on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues, Major League Eating said in a statement.

With the exception of the pandemic years, the competition has been held outside the shop every year since 1916, according to the competitive eating governing body.

Phil McCann, vice president of marketing of Nathan’s Famous, said in a statement that the event typically draws 35,000 fans.

In 2020, the contest was held indoors at the Nathan’s factory warehouse, with only five competitors in each category, as opposed to the usual 15. No spectators were on hand.

In 2021, the contest was moved to Maimonides Park, which is up the block on Surf Avenue from Nathan’s flagship restaurant. It had a smaller audience of 7,000.

Chestnut broke his own world record in 2021, consuming 76 hotdogs in 10 minutes.

Sudo sat out the contest last year because she was nine months pregnant. Among others, she will go up against Michelle Lesco, the defending champion, who consumed 30.75 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Sudo holds the record, set in 2020, of 48.5 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Chestnut has won the mustard-colored champion’s belt every year since 2007, except for 2015.

“Joey Chestnut is a force from beyond who defies the laws of physics,” said contest host and competitive eating maverick George Shea. “He is freedom made man, and the rock on which he stands is not a rock—it is the United States of America.”

This year’s contest will feature 16 men and 12 women, organizers said. It will air live on ESPN from 10:45 a.m. to ​1 p.m. on Independence Day. 

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