The Clubhouse in Bettendorf will be the scene of nine days of arm wrestling action during the next month that will be the basis of a new reality TV show.
“American Arm Wrestling” will be filmed on location at the Clubhouse and broadcast on Destination America, a Discovery Channel network available in 60 million homes nationwide.
The tournament will include competition for both professional and amateur arm wrestlers in three weight classes — 165 pounds and under, 166-200 and 201 and over — with $1,500 of prize money available. Qualifying will be Jan. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31, with the finals scheduled for Feb. 1.
The event is open to anyone who wants to enter and who has the entry fee of $10. The winner of each weight class will advance to the national championships June 13-16 in Eau Claire, Wis.
“This is our first venture in arm wrestling, the first time we’ve done anything like this,” said Alex Paul, co-owner and general manager of the Clubhouse.
The facility at 2501 53rd Ave., which features golf simulators and other activities, has been open for about a year-and-a-half and Paul admitted to being a bit surprised when Destination America officials approached them with the idea.
“They thought our kind of setup was ideal for what they were looking for,” Paul said. “We thought about it for a while and finally decided to try it.”
Weigh-ins will be done in one corner with the arm-wrestling taking place in an open lounge area between the golf simulators and a massive TV screen. Post-match interviews will be conducted in an office area.
Everything will be filmed by Arm Sports TV, a YouTube channel that specializes in arm wrestling, and packaged for use on Destination America.
Destination America was known as Planet Green until last spring and bills itself as “the first network to celebrate the people, places, and stories of the United States.” It is available locally on channel 201 of some Mediacom extended cable packages, on DirecTV channel 286 and Dish Network channel 194.