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Coronavirus Fears Forces ‘WrestleMania’ Relocation

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the WWE to move its April 5 WrestleMania 36 event from Tampa Bay to its training facility in Orlando, where it will take place without a live audience.

The pro wrestling outfit said in a statement: “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 p.m. 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.”

Related: Sports Industry Suffers Body Blow from Coronavirus Fears

The WWE aired its March 13 live SmackDown show from its Orlando facility.

WrestleMania 36 is the latest sports/sports entertainment event affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Last week sports leagues including the NFL, NBA, NHL and the PGA have suspended play, while the NCAA has canceled its annual March Madness college basketball men’s and women’s basketball tournament. 

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.