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WWE’s Chances of WrestleMania With a Live Audience

Image from Charlie Riedel, AP

When COVID-19 was too large to ignore, many took action. March 12, 2020 was the day that sports was cancelled, as the NFL, the NHL, the MLS, and the MLB suspended all play. The NCAA cancelled their championship games, and the PGA Tour was cancelled until the Masters. NASCAR even postponed their races in Atlanta and Miami. It seemed like nearly every sport was cancelled.

However, WWE was able to tape their television shows, Raw, SmackDown, and NXT in their Performance Center in Orlando, Florida with no live audience. WWE’s biggest show of the year WrestleMania, originally meant to be held in the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, was also moved to the Performance Center.

In an announcement involving WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, WWE will once again be hosting WrestleMania in the Raymond James Stadium on April 10 and 11.

“…it’s so important to have something to look forward to. We want to provide some hope and excitement, and given the circumstances, allow people time to plan.” – Stephanie McMahon

It is reported that WWE is wanting an upwards of 25,000 fans for both nights of WrestleMania. This would mark the first time that a live audience would attend a WWE event since the March 9 episode of Raw. Is it doable though?

It might be possible for WWE to hold WrestleMania safely. For comparison, the 2021 Super Bowl took place in the Raymond James Stadium last weekend. The NFL had about 25,000 fans in-person with safety precautions in place. Of the 25,000 fans, about 7,500 of them were health care workers who had been vaccinated. Masks were required to be worn and fans were socially distanced. The reason the Super Bowl looked packed was due to the use of cardboard cut-out fans. It was $100 for a cardboard cut-out, and about 30,000 of them were placed.

These actions taken by the NFL were essential to ensure the feel of a packed event and have safe fans, even with the current pandemic. Despite these safety precautions, some people feel that the Super Bowl should not have been held in-person. People feared that the masks and social distance weren’t quite enforced. There were reports of maskless fans at the game and inside bars at the stadium. “Mostly enforced” rules aren’t enough to negate the spread of COVID-19.

Given that WrestleMania is WWE’s biggest show of the year, if they want to have fans of some capacity, they need to work hard to enforce safety precautions. Masks need to be enforced everywhere, as well as social distancing.

WWE does have some time between now and WrestleMania to work with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to ensure a safe WrestleMania for fans. It seems as though that WWE are taking safety precautions seriously. For instance, it is reported that WWE are wanting to use cardboard cut-outs of fans. Also, tickets for WrestleMania have yet to be announced, as WWE doesn’t want to get ahead and let fans purchase tickets without taking the maximum precautions.

If WWE were to be extra safe, they would host WrestleMania in their ThunderDome with virtual fans. Given the current state and federal administration, WWE will be able to host WrestleMania with no problem as no lockdowns have been enforced yet to stop the spread of COVID-19. Anything can change between now and then, but more than likely WWE will be able to host their first live event since March of last year.

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WWE’s Chances of WrestleMania With a Live Audience