Love hot dogs and baseball? Who doesn’t, which is precisely the reason Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest hosts is hosting its qualifying contests for the national contest at ballparks. In St. Louis, all who are hungry for competition, and loves hots dogs can belly up to the table on June 16 at 5:45 on Saturday at Busch Stadium.

This year’s qualifier, presented in partnership with Schunck Markets will award the top male and female eaters with a seat at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York.

“The launch of the annual Nathan’s Famous hot dog-eating contest circuit signals the arrival of summer,” said Scott Harvey, executive vice president of Nathan’s Famous. “Some of the most accomplished eaters in the world will compete at this event, but we also are seeking new talent in St. Louis to represent our nation on the most patriotic day of the year.”

“Competitive eating is the lens through which our humanity is revealed,” said Major League Eating Chair George Shea. “Competing against world champ Joey Chestnut on the big stage in Coney Island on July 4th is the dream of any patriot.”

Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California, currently holds the title of hot dog-eating world champion after defeating rising star Carmen Cincotti with a Coney Island record of 72 hot dogs and buns in 2017. Chestnut’s all-time best is a world record 73 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Miki Sudo of Las Vegas, Nevada, will defend her title as female champion, having consumed 41 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes in 2017, a new personal best.

According to legend, the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island, New York since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the beloved restaurant. MLE, that’s short for Major League Eating – no joke - is the governing body of all stomach-centric sports, sanctions the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Circuit. MLE also oversees other chow down contests as The Salvation Army’s Donut Eating Contest and the Bass Pro Shops MoonPie Eating Contest.

Those interested in competing in the Missouri qualifier should visit to obtain information and register. All competitors must be over 18 years of age, and of course, plan to arrive hungry.