'WrestleMania 36' moving from Raymond James Stadium to WWE's training facility due to coronavirus

Yahoo Sports
WrestleMania 36 was scheduled to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. (Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
WrestleMania 36 was scheduled to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. (Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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.”

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The unprecedented decision comes in the wake of nearly every other sports league canceling or postponing events in response to the outbreak.

As of Monday, the coronavirus has infected more than 180,000 people, killing 7,119, including 78 in the United States.

The decision to hold WrestleMania in front of no fans comes as WWE has shifted its events to the training facility in Orlando in the midst of the outbreak. The March 13 episode of “Smackdown” was filmed live at the WWE Performance Center under similar circumstances — no fans, only essential personnel.

WrestleMania is WWE’s largest event of the year and has been held annually since 1985. The event has morphed from a one-night affair to a nearly week-long extravaganza.

This year, the WWE Hall of Fame Induction, “SmackDown Live,” “NXT TakeOver: Tampa,” “Monday Night Raw” and the WWE Axxess events were all scheduled to take place in the Tampa Bay area. In an additional statement, WWE announced that the Hall of Fame Induction and “NXT TakeOver: Tampa” would “not take place as previously scheduled,” and that further details would be shared as they became available.

While WWE is the main focus of the week, WrestleMania week regularly draws independent wrestling shows, conferences and provides an overall boon to the industry and local economy. According to Enigma Research, WrestleMania 35 brought in $165 million to the New York/New Jersey area last April.

Although the decision to move WrestleMania 36 comes under different circumstances, WWE’s biggest event has moved venues once before. In 1991, WrestleMania VII was moved from the Los Angeles Coliseum to the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena as the country was in the midst of the Gulf War.

From a travel perspective, WrestleMania regularly brings in fans from all 50 states and scores of countries globally.

Reactions started to come in shortly after the announcement was made:

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