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WWE confirm Wrestlemania will...
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WWE confirm Wrestlemania will take place in front of no fans

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

23:24 16 Mar 2020

The WWE has finally taken decisive action on this year's Wrestlemania and pulled the event from Tampa's Raymond James Stadium. 

They will instead offer up their annual spectacular in front of zero fans at their Performance Centre in Florida on April 5.

An estimated 70,000 fans were expected to attend in Tampa.

WWE owner Vince McMahon had been engaged in a stand-off with Tampa officials over the staging of this year's Wrestlemania. It was believed he preferred to plough on with the event, despite the coronavirus outbreak.

City officials hinted that they would be forced to pull the plug on the event if McMahon and co didn't make the decision themselves.

Their recent TV shows had been forced to their Performance Centre, with Friday night's SmackDown taking place in front of empty stands.

Monday Night Raw will feature the return of their Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin, but again there will be no live crowd to bear witness.

Several big matches have already been lined up for Wrestlemania, including Ireland's own Becky Lynch facing MMA alumnus Shayna Baszler.

Another Hall of Famer in Edge has ended a decade's long retirement for this year's 'Mania, but his big singles return against Randy Orton will have none of the crowd reaction he may have hoped for.

A WWE statement read:

"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."

The effective cancellation of Wrestlemania, and the crackdown on public events in the US will have a huge impact on the eco-system of professional wrestling.

Dozens of independent shows traditionally take place across Wrestlemania weekend in the host city, with performers highly dependent on the revenues those shows bring.

For the first time in its history, the pomp and pageantry of Wrestlemania has been quelled.

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Read more about

Becky Lynch Edge Monday Night Raw Raw Shayna Baszler SmackDown Stone Cold Steve Austin Tampa Vince McMahon WWE Wrestlemania Wrestlemania 36

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