Yeah, yeah, professional wrestling is “fake,” and it’s definitely not for everybody. Nevertheless, World Wrestling Entertainment holding its largest and most renowned event of the year – their Super Bowl if you will – in Philadelphia would be a very big deal.
According to a report, it could happen soon. Via 6abc, the city has expressed an interest in hosting the show at Lincoln Financial Field, an idea the WWE did not explicitly shoot down in an official statement on the matter. They didn’t indicate Mania might be coming to Philly, either, but the speculation is already rampant.
The success of WM 29 at MetLife Stadium – home to the New York Giants and Jets – this past April proved to company executives that outdoor venues in the northeast are viable, the possibility for inclement weather being the greatest concern that time of year. Philadelphia also has a long and storied tradition as one of the sport’s hotbeds, thus making it a logical destination in the region.
The most recent and only WrestleMania held in Philly was XV in 1999 inside the Wells Fargo Center, headlined by Stone Cold Steve Austin versus The Rock.
The event has not been held in a standard arena since 2006 in Chicago. Since then, it’s been cycled through a series of baseball and/or football stadiums which can hold 2-to-4 times as many people. 80,000-plus spectators were in attendance at MetLife this year.
If you’ve gotten this far and you’re not a wrestling fan, congratulations. Just to demonstrate how enormous having this event here would be, people from all 50 states and 34 countries around the world bought tickets to WrestleMania in 2013. It’s evolved into a nearly week-long party, with special access for fans leading up to the big day, and typically capped off by the live broadcast of their flagship Monday Night Raw the next night.
In other words, it’s a major, major tourism boost for the city economy.
Don’t get your hopes up for this coming April though. WrestleMania XXX is already booked for the Superdome in New Orleans. The apparent target dates would be 2015 or ’16. I’d mention I hope this comes to fruition, but you have to figure eventually the WWE will find a way to bring its marquee event back to the City of Brothery Love.
Coincidentally, the WWE is hosting its annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view at the WFC this Sunday. Looks like a fantastic card, too.
Photo via WWE.com