PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
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Mar. 8 Update: WWE issued a press release officially announcing WrestleMania 33 on April 2, 2017 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
The usual wrap-around events will take place including WrestleMania Axxess, the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame, post-Mania Raw, and other events.
[ Press Release – Official Announcement ]
Mar. 7 Update: WWE is officially bringing WrestleMania back to Orlando, reports Brian Fritz for the Orlando Sentinel.
WM33 will take place April 2, 2017 at the Citrus Bowl. (Full Report)
A formal announcement is scheduled for Tuesday in Orlando attended by Florida dignitaries and WWE CEO Vince McMahon.
Renovations to the Citrus Bowl, existing relationships with Florida officials, WWE’s secondary location in Central Florida through the Performance Center, and Florida’s tourism appeal were big factors that led to Orlando getting next year’s WrestleMania bid.
Mar. 3 Update: Orlando news publications are starting to pick up on the likelihood of WrestleMania returning to Orlando in 2017.
The Orlando Business Journal reported on WWE potentially announcing next week that Orlando will host WM33.
Feb. 19 Update: The City of Orlando’s mayor is confident that WrestleMania in 2017 or 2018 will return to Orlando.
Mayor Buddy Dyer talked to the Miami Herald about his confidence level that WWE will announce Orlando for either WrestleMania 33 in 2017 or WM34 in 2018.
“We’re in a competition right now, and we understand it’s down to a handful of cities for 2017. We put in bids for both 2017 and 2018,” Dyer told reporter Jim Varsallone.
“I was part of our proposal for the events as well (traveling to WWE HQ in Connecticut). I don’t think they’ve had many mayors who have come [to Stamford] to make the pitch for WrestleMania, so there’s some mutual admiration going on.”
Dyer stressed renovations to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando as a key selling point for bringing back WrestleMania. Dyer also said he would like to see Orlando in a regular rotation of hosting the annual event.
It helps that Dyer has been to the Performance Center in Orlando to build a relationship with WWE staff down in Florida.
February 13 Report
The time is drawing near for WWE to announce the WrestleMania 33 location in March/April 2017.
The City of Orlando is considered a frontrunner, prompting a conversation with Allen Johnson, a key name from Orlando’s overseeing facility/sports industry.
Johnson was asked by Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald about Orlando potentially hosting WrestleMania again. “I think we’re ready for it,” Johnson said. “We’re prepared to whatever year they decide to come back. We’re ready for them, and we now have the infrastructure in place to accommodate it much better than before, and they know that. They’ve toured the stadium. They’ve been here and seen what we now are capable of versus what we were capable of. That gets us in the conversation to host one of those events.”
The Mania host stadium would be the Citrus Bowl, the same as in 2008 when Orlando hosted WM24. However, according to Johnson, the stadium is much different than eight years ago after $207 million in renovations.
“It allows us to be in the conversation, where before at the older venue we didn’t have the infrastructure in place to repeat some of those big events that we were lucky enough to have,” Johnson said.
It helps that WWE had a successful Royal Rumble PPV in Orlando, which sold about 12,000 seats after production-area seating was taken out. Plus, the presence of WWE’s Performance Center in the Orlando area.
“It’s very comforting for them (WWE and UFC) to know that they’re walking into a place that’s already prepared to handle their events,” Johnson said.