WrestleMania To Be Held At WWE Performance Center With No Live Audience
WWE's biggest event of the year, WrestleMania is scheduled to take place on April 5th, but with a few changes as a result of COVID-19 concerns.
WrestleMania was set to take place at Raymond James Stadium on April 5th in Tampa Bay, Florida. However, it was announced yesterday that WWE will be holding WrestleMania 36 as scheduled on April 5, in front of an empty Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. It will still stream live with only essential personnel present. Below is the official statement from WWE.
There are some rumors out there that WWE might actually scrap those plans for WrestleMania at the Performance Center. The Fight Oracle account on Twitter that the event will be taking place on June 7th at Madison Square Garden, as the promotion’s insurance policy specifies that it has a “duty to mitigate damages.” Finding a new venue, the Performance Center, would satisfy that requirement.
According to WrestlingNews.co :
The city of Orlando will shut down the event from the PC and that would show that WWE tried their best to move the event to mitigate the damages and then they could get paid by their insurer. At that point, they can move the show to June 7 at Madison Square Garden. This would also make MSG management happy because they are losing out on a WWE live event in that venue on March 22nd due to the coronavirus outbreak.
At this point, WrestleMania is still scheduled for April 5th at the Performance Center, but that could very well change, if this rumor is correct.
WWE should push back WrestleMania. If the rumor above is correct, it would be the best result.
If you watched Raw or SmackDown over the last week, it has aired live from the Performance Center without a live audience. The shows were missing the biggest element that makes a wrestling show exciting: the crowd.
As someone who has been in and around the wrestling (or sports entertainment) industry, the crowd is everything. You can have a football or basketball game go on without a crowd and it could still be a good game. Wrestling, however, is much different than any other sport. The crowd is the biggest asset to a show and to the performers. The wrestlers feed off of the crowd and interact with them based off of their energy level.
WrestleMania is the biggest event in wrestling. To have the show air without a crowd, WWE would lose the spectacle element of WrestleMania. While we are used to having it in early April, pushing the show back to a later date and having a live audience would make for a better show, and would not take away from the magic that is WrestleMania. I'd rather them hold off on WresleMania, build on these storylines longer, and deliver a show that we would expect from them than to see WrestleMania air live in a tiny "gym" with no audience. A WrestleMania without a crowd isn't a WrestleMania.