WrestleMania 36 vs. Coronavirus

By Nate Kaiser

Amidst the craziness the past week, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has announced the movement of WrestleMania 36 from the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL to the much smaller WWE Performance center in Orlando.

“In coordination with local partners and government officials, WrestleMania and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place… Only essential personnel will be on the closed set at WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida, to produce WrestleMania,” the WWE statement read.

The announcement came shortly before Monday Night Raw. The move was expected, following the development of the COVID-19 virus, more commonly referred to as the Coronavirus. It was only a matter of time until the virus spread throughout the United States.

“While we are saddened that this unforeseen situation has led us to today’s announcement, this is the right call for the safety and security of everyone involved,” said the Tampa Bay Local Organizing Committee.

President Trump’s limitation of 10 people or less forced the implementation of only essential personnel on staff the day of the show. Still, the question remains of how the production and the feeling of WrestleMania will be received with no fans present.

WrestleMania has been the greatest spectacle in sports-entertainment history for the past 35 years. Every year the WWE takes over a new city, bringing a week full of events along with it. Along with it, the Hall of Fame, NXT Take Over, and the fan experience draws upwards of 80,000 people to cities.

The cancellation will also bring an impact to the “independent” professional wrestling world. WrestleMania weekend brings a wave of various independent promotions flocking to the city to capitalize on the surplus of fans. Promotions such as Game Changer Wrestling (GCW), Full Throttle Pro Wrestling, and Progress Wrestling will have to either relocate or cancel the weekend’s events.

The cancellation is an entire blow not just to the wrestling world but for the whole of the city of Tampa. Mania brings a boost for the local economy as well with fans flying in from all over the world to see the action. The loss of revenue will hit the city hard.

Updates will become available as information is given approaching the date of the show.

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Nate Kaise is a freshman at Loras College. He is from Rockton Illinois and a Media Studies major. He is currently a reporter and Associate Producer for LCTV SportsZone.

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