Sometimes things just work out, though there hasn’t been a lot of that lately. WWE has certainly not been immune to the realities of operating in a COVID-19 world, but the company has at least one small stroke of luck heading into WrestleMania season, and chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon tells TheWrap she plans to take full advantage of an imperfect situation.
You see, last year’s WrestleMania 36 was intended to be held at Tampa Bay, Florida’s Raymond James Stadium, where the NFL’s Buccaneers play. WrestleMania 37 in 2021 was destined for L.A.’s SoFi Stadium. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020’s WrestleMania had to be moved to WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
Well, SoFi will have to wait until 2023 — the so-called Super Bowl of professional wrestling is taking a second crack at Raymond James, which is exactly where the real Super Bowl (LV) is scheduled for this year.
Super Bowl LV is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2021. WrestleMania 37 is scheduled for the weekend of April 10 and 11, 2021. That gives WWE about nine weeks to react to what worked and what didn’t for a major sporting event at Raymond James Stadium.
McMahon said she’s “grateful” it worked out this way.
“It certainly does, I think, this year, work to our favor to be the event after the Super Bowl in the same stadium, especially given all of the key learnings that the Super Bowl will have,” McMahon told TheWrap. “And hopefully we’ll be able to glean some insights from them in terms of what works, what doesn’t work, what we need to do to really ensure the best experience possible.”
Raymond James will not just host Super Bowl LV and WrestleMania 37 inside of 45 days, it could host its home team, the Buccaneers, whom are still alive in the NFL Playoffs. That’s never happened before. Good luck to Tom Brady and team on getting past Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Green Bay this Sunday, though.
We don’t yet know if Super Bowl LV will have fans in attendance — Raymond James has averaged 22% capacity thus far this NFL season — and the same goes for WrestleMania 37. But hey, it’s Florida, so if that allowance is going to happen anywhere… (Well, it certainly wasn’t going to happen in Los Angeles this year.)
“Currently we are hopeful to have fans,” McMahon said of WWE’s own “fluid” situation. “We’re not announcing any capacity plans at this point.”
WrestleMania 37 is set to take place on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Not enough for you? WrestleMania 38 will be at Dallas’ (OK, it’s really Arlington) AT&T Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2022. WrestleMania 39 is going Hollywood on Sunday, April 2, 2023, when the extravaganza heads to Inglewood/Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.
Why did WWE announce its plans so many years out? That’s not exactly like them.
“It just helps everybody. It helps us for planning purposes, it helps our fans plan their trips, it helps in so many different capacities. And now we can really work with all of our partners across the board in all of these major cities and really blow everything out as big as we possibly can,” McMahon said.
“Also, during this time, I think people need hope and I think you need something to look forward to,” she continued.
Can’t argue with that.