While every major and minor sports organization has shut down due to the Coronavirus, WWE believes the show must go on.
WWE announced on Monday that all WrestleMania 36 events scheduled for the Tampa Bay area would not take place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but “WrestleMania” would still go on in front of no fans from the company’s training facility in Orlando on April 5.
“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.”
The other related events that have been called off in Tampa are the Axxess fan convention, the annual WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, SmackDown, Monday Night RAW, and NXT TakeOver: Tampa.
WrestleMania was expected to draw in 70,000 fans into Raymond James Stadium. Many of those fans would be coming from Europe, but with President Donald Trump issuing a traveling band and ultimately recommending no large gatherings of more than 10 people, things wouldn’t haven’t work for the WWE.
WrestleMania is WWE’s largest event of the year and has been held annually since 1985. While the fans will not be in attendance, this is a teachable business moment.
Since WWE has its own facility in nearby Orlando, having the event in a smaller venue without fans would send a message to the other sports organizations that just because you can’t have fans in attendance doesn’t mean the show must stop altogether.