World Wrestling Entertainment said Thursday it plans to proceed with WrestleMania 36 as scheduled amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, though officials are preparing for possible interruptions as the situation evolves.
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The annual pay-per-view event is set to take place on April 5 in Tampa, Florida. However, a wave of precautionary measures enacted by public officials, U.S. companies and sports leagues raised questions as to whether WrestleMania could be postponed or canceled.
“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 canceled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues,” WWE said in a statement. “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 did not elaborate on what form those contingency plans may take.
WrestleMania is the most lucrative event on WWE’s calendar. In 2019, WrestleMania 35 grossed $16.9 million in gate receipts alone at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, shattering the venue’s record and ranking as the second-highest-grossing event in WWE history.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended cancelation of mass gatherings for the next 30 days due to coronavirus-related concerns. However, local officials indicated Thursday that they would hold off on making a decision on WrestleMania’s status for the time being, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
WrestleMania 36 is one of the few upcoming sporting events that hasn’t already been canceled. U.S. sports leagues, including the NCAA, MLB, NHL, NBA and MLS, have all suspended operations due to coronavirus.