The stars of WWE were scheduled to invade Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida for WrestleMania 36 despite concerns over the coronavirus. However, the situation has since changed. The fan-favorite event has been altered in the wake of rising concerns over health and safety and the state of Florida being in a state of emergency.
Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin reported on Monday that WrestleMania 36 will now be taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. This will follow a trend set by Friday Night SmackDown and WWE Raw and will take place without any fans in attendance. The event will be broadcast live as a WWE Network pay-per-view.
"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," WWE said in a statement on Monday.
WWE had originally planned for the event to continue with several high-profile matchups. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar was set to face off with Royal Rumble Winner Drew McIntyre while Universal Champion Goldberg would take on Roman Reigns.
On the women's side, RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch would be tasked with defeating Shayna Baszler. NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley would face Charlotte Flair.
"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," WWE had originally said in a statement. "We remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, and like other entertainment properties in the U.S., there are currently no plans to cancel or postpone our upcoming events."
The City of Tampa released a statement on Wednesday that revealed the plan was to keep WrestleMania 36 on schedule. Although city officials were scheduled to meet with Tampa mayor Jane Castor on Thursday to further discuss the situation. Ultimately, the decision was made to move WrestleMania 36 in light of the latest developments.
There has been a rising concern in recent days as multiple leagues have considered canceling or postponing events. The Ivy League canceled both its men's and women's basketball tournaments in an effort to avoid spreading coronavirus, sending Yale's men's team and Princeton's women's team to the NCAA Tournament.
Similarly, NASCAR announced on Monday that all racing events would be postponed until at least May. The goal is to return to the racetrack on May 9, but that date will remain in flux as the racing organization continues to monitor the situation.
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