WWE: Why WrestleMania Will Never Take Place Outside North America
WrestleMania will never be hosted outside North America.
Tickets for WrestleMania 29 go on sale this week. Talk continues as to where the milestone 30th edition will take place in 2014.
It's the time of year where I hear the passionate wrestling fans outside of the US, particularly in the United Kingdom, plead for a WrestleMania in their country.
When the WWE does shows in the UK, the crowds are tremendous. Great energy and excitement, perhaps because they have to go through so much more trouble to consume the product than the spoiled American or even Canadian fan.
While RAW airs in primetime in the states, fans overseas must stay up late to watch it live. The English fans are five hours ahead of Eastern Standard time, and so must commit either to very late nights, watching the show via YouTube or replays, or simply having to read about what happened.
It's a great crowd, but not enough reason to warrant the trouble that would come of moving WrestleMania to a city such as London.
Yes, SummerSlam 1992 took place in London and was arguably one of the best SummerSlam events of all time. Great, but it was a different event and a different time.
Let's use London for the example of attempting to put on WrestleMania outside of North America.
First, there's is the time difference.
WrestleMania airs live in the United States in the normal 7-11pm EST time-slot, so it would air live in London from midnight until 4 a.m. local time.
If they had the event in London at 7 p.m. local time, it would air live in North America anywhere from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You can't have WrestleMania air live on a Sunday afternoon.
Then there is the option of following the way RAW is produced, which is to film it live in primetime in London and then air it on delay for North America.
You simply can't spoil WrestleMania for North American fans in this way.
Now I know what some of you are saying: Why is everything based on North American fans?
Because catering to North American fans is what's best practically and economically.
WrestleMania has never had more buys internationally than they have domestically. The talents and crew all live in North America. WrestleMania has been a proven success when held in America or Canada.
The thought of holding it outside North America would be more costly and be more difficult logistically. You don't mess up a well-oiled machine.
The cost of transporting equipment and crew goes up, not to mention the special guests, Hall-of-Famers and celebrities.
Yes, the fans outside of North America have made the sacrifices to attend WrestleMania. Every year we hear that many fans from many countries have traveled to be at the biggest spectacle in entertainment. Why change that?
Those people are spending money, WWE isn't going to stop that. When WWE touts how much revenue they bring to a city that hosts WrestleMania week, those international travelers are a big part of that.
Sure, there would be some in North America who would do the same and travel to London. However, I don't think as many Americans would travel in as large a number as their international counterparts.
Those international fans have to work harder to consume the product, as I said. They don't get as many opportunities to see WWE live as those in United States or Canada.
They work harder to see WWE live because they've been trained that way. I've had the chance to meet some great international fans over the years at WrestleManias. So many travel in large groups.
It's not uncommon to meet a party of 15 from Ireland. Large groups—all needing flights, hotel, WrestleMania tickets, wanting merchandise, buying Axxess tickets, going out to eat, going shopping.
All because of WWE hosting WrestleMania in that American or Canadian city.
The formula wouldn't work the same way if the show's international.
In the past, WWE has had special pay-per-view events in England. I wouldn't be surprised if they did it again. The international crowd deserves it.
However, the adjustments to time, distribution, cost and logistics are still too great for the greatest show of the year in WrestleMania.
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