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Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Comes to the "Center of it All"

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Contest scheduled to take place tonight before Panthers-Devils game at the BAC

SUNRISE, Fla. – Sunrise Sports & Entertainment and the BankAtlantic Center announced today that, for the second year in a row, the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest will visit the BankAtlantic Center tonight, prior to the Florida Panthers-New Jersey Devils game at the BankAtlantic Center. The contest will kick off the Nathan’s Qualifying Tour on the road to the annual International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, NY.

“As evidenced by last year’s event, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is quickly becoming an International phenomenon and we are proud to host one of the qualifying rounds at the BankAtlantic Center,” SSE chief operating officer Michael Yormark said. “It is this type of fun-filled event that makes Panthers hockey at the BankAtlantic Center the perfect choice for a night of family entertainment.”

The event begins at 6 p.m. with the Kids Neat Eating Contest, which will be immediately followed by the Adult Competitive Eating Contest at 6:30 p.m. Face-off for the Panthers-Devils game is set for 7:30 p.m.

The winner of each qualifying round will receive the right to compete in the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest which, according to archives, has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island, NY since 1916. Qualifiers are open to those 18 years of age and older and applications will be taken online at

After stopping at the BAC, the Tour will continue in May and June with over a dozen qualifying contests being held in towns that include Charlotte, NC, Philadelphia, PA, Las Vegas, NV, Atlanta, GA, and Tokyo, Japan.

In 2006, 30,000 fans crowded the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island to witness the match-up between Takeru Kobayashi of Japan and Joey Chestnut of California. An additional 1.5 million households tuned in to the contest’s live broadcast on ESPN. Chestnut ate an astounding 52 Nathan’s Hot Dogs and Buns in the 12-minute contest, nearly dethroning Kobayashi who ate 53.75 hot dogs and buns and secured his sixth straight title.
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