Amid cancellations and delays announced by most major sports leagues, WWE is holding firm on WrestleMania. At least for now.
In a statement Thursday, WWE said it would “remain committed” to holding WrestleMania 36 on April 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, despite the coronavirus outbreak that is affecting sporting events worldwide. WWE added that it is taking precautions in case government officials cancel the huge event.
“While we remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, we are putting contingency plans in place in the event that it is cancelled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues,” the statement read. “The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that cities and counties should postpone or cancel any mass gatherings through the next 30 days in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. If an event is not canceled, organizers should have screening measures in place to prevent those infected from entering, DeSantis said.
The NBA, NHL, NCAA and MLS have all canceled games over the past two days. Major League Baseball is delaying its season.
WrestleMania, the biggest pro-wrestling event of the year, was expected to draw more than 70,000 fans this year. In 2019, WrestleMania 35 in New Jersey had 82,265 in attendance.
WWE did announce a coronavirus-affected move Thursday. The promotion’s SmackDown television show scheduled for Friday night in Detroit will be moved to WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida, per a statement. There will be “only essential personnel in attendance,” the statement read.
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