WWE Chairman Vince McMahon reportedly considered holding WrestleMania 36 from an empty Raymond James Stadium in Tampa at one point, according to a new report from Sports Illustrated.
WrestleMania 36 was taped last week at the empty WWE Performance Center in Orlando, and a few off-site locations for certain matches. It will air this Saturday and Sunday night via pay-per-view, the WWE Network, FIVE TV, and the FOX Sports app. The coronavirus pandemic forced WWE to cancel all original plans for WrestleMania 36 Week in Tampa last month, but SI reports that at one point Vince wanted to keep the show at the stadium, despite the fact that there would be no fans in attendance.
SI noted that Vince was forced to abandon the idea, for reasons outside of his control. The main reason was the Florida state government. It would’ve been a bad look for the state to allow WWE’s biggest event of the year, in all its glory, during a major outbreak like we’re seeing. The second main reason was simply aesthetics. While it’s already challenging to perform in the empty Performance Center, that obstacle would’ve been magnified if they held the show at the massive Raymond James Stadium.
It’s been reported that Vince was just about the only person in WWE who wanted to move forward with WrestleMania 36 this weekend, at least among sources who were talking. Vince ended up moving the show to the Performance Center as canceling the event would run in direct opposition to his principles and sensibilities, according to SI. This is why WWE will likely be the brand to hold the first major live event with fans once a more regular pace of daily life returns to the United States.
It was also noted by SI that postponing WrestleMania 36 would have been a logistical nightmare, but also the most logical option. Much of the year is already booked and there’s no word yet on when government restrictions will be lifted as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, which made it hard to set a date for re-scheduling. SI noted that this is why Vince made the decision that he did, to hold the taped show at the Performance Center, so he can control the environment that he can control.
Stay tuned for more on the WrestleMania 36 tapings. Remember to join us on Saturday and Sunday night for live WrestleMania 36 coverage, beginning both nights at 6pm ET with the Kickoff pre-shows.