WWE confirmed WrestleMania will no longer take place in Tampa Bay, Fla., this year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, but the company still has plans to produce its hallmark event on April 5 at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
According to LA Times’ Arash Markazi, Wrestlemania 36 isn’t being suspended, canceled or postponed the way just about every other major sporting and entertainment event in the U.S. is right now. Instead, WrestleMania is simply being moved to another location where the company can limit the number of people involved in producing what’s considered to be the biggest and most important night in the world of professional wrestling entertainment.
So Wrestlemania 36 is essentially banning fans from attending the event.
Per Markazi, the WWE will go on with Wrestlemania 36 on a “closed set” with only “essential personnel” on hand.
Wrestlemania 36 will stream live on WWE Network beginning at 7 pm ET. It will be the first time in company history that the WWE’s biggest annual event will happen without thousands of fans in attendance.
WWE Released Full Statement on Website
The company released the full statement on its website on Monday to confirm what Markazi and others had reported. The statement reads as follows:
In coordination with local partners and government officials, WrestleMania and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place. However, WrestleMania will still stream live on Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view. Only essential personnel will be on the closed set at WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida to produce WrestleMania.
In response to the worldwide pandemic, the WWE had already made this same move for it’s Monday and Friday evening television shows “Monday Night Raw” and “Smackdown”.
Now, it appears the company is going to do the same thing with its biggest and most popular event of the entire year, Wrestlemania 36.
Local Officials Were Concerned Over Hosting WWE Event
Prior to the outbreak, officials expected WrestleMania 36 to bring more than 70,000 fans to Raymond James Stadium per ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa Bay. That would usually have been a huge financial boon for the area, but with the outbreak, officials weren’t interested in hosting that many people to the area.
In fact, local officials had expressed concern about the event not having been canceled after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic last week and just about every other major sports event had been moved, canceled or postponed soon after.
“A threat to public safety is a threat,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said per WFTS. “It doesn’t matter if it’s medical, if there’s some type of illness or it’s an active shooter.”
Now, local officials, along with the rest of the world, can simply watch the action from the comfort of their homes via the WWE network.
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