WrestleMania 36 is still expected to go ahead as scheduled despite the coronavirus outbreak but plans may change within the next week. As it stands, WrestleMania is supposed to take place on April 5 at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida but Vince McMahon’s promotion admit they have contingency plans in place.
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
The wrestling giants insist that they “remain committed” to hosting the Show of Shows this year and hinted that they are unlikely to pull the trigger themselves as a potential cancellation could instead go down to “government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues”.
WWE, though, insist that the health and safety of fans, wrestlers and staff is their top priority and will keep working with the authorities over a solution to the matter.
An official statement read: “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 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.”
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A final decision regarding WrestleMania is yet to be made even though the NBA, NHL, MLS, Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and UEFA have officially put their seasons on ice because of the spread of COVID-19, as the virus is known.
Tampa city officials have announced that they will re-evaluate the situation in a week’s time provided WWE themselves haven’t taken action.
The decision was made because WrestleMania is still three weeks away and so the local government was reluctant to “pull the plug” just yet.
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has already recommended that all mass gatherings, including Mania, be postponed or cancelled over the next 30 days.
The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 19 where a final decision may well be taken.
There appears to be a battle of wills as both the city of Tampa and WWE will be dealt with a major financial impact if the Showcase of the Immortals is postponed or cancelled and that is why no one is keen on taking the responsibility.
European fans will also be unable to attend the show due to US President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban that will last for the next 30 days but excludes the UK as well as Ireland.
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McMahon is likely to explore all the available options before making such a big verdict on WrestleMania, which is by far the biggest event in professional wrestling each year.
WrestleMania is not likely to be cancelled altogether but it could be postponed to the summer as the coronavirus continues to spread and has already impacted almost all other sports.
In the meantime, WWE have taken action as they have cancelled non-televised live events, such as Saturday’s show at the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto, Canada and Sunday’s performance in Youngstown, Ohio – refunds will be made available.
And tonight’s SmackDown will no longer emanate from Detroit and will instead take place at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida behind closed doors.
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