WWE’s flagship pay-per-view, WrestleMania, will take place without an audience this year. The pro wrestling promotion announced Monday that the upcoming WrestleMania 36 will now take place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida instead of in Tampa Bay as originally planned.
“In coordination with local partners and government officials, WrestleMania and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place,” the company said in a statement. “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 move mirrors the WWE’s approach to its weekly shows “SmackDown Live” and “Monday Night Raw,” which both began airing from the Performance Center after major sporting events were ordered to be suspended as the coronavirus pandemic continues. In addition to its three weekly TV shows — “SmackDown,” “Raw,” and “NXT” — WWE runs numerous non-televised live events throughout the year known as house shows.
The card for the annual event is set to feature WWE stars like Brock Lesnar, Drew McIntyre, Charlotte Flair, Rhea Ripley, John Cena, and Bray Wyatt. Goldberg will also defend the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns.
Major sports leagues have been calling off their seasons as well, with the MLB, NBA, and NHL all stating they will postpone games due to the outbreak. The NCAA also announced that the annual March Madness basketball tournament will not proceed as planned.