Although it has been rumored for the past several weeks, it was officially announced on Monday that WrestleMania XXX would be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on April 6, 2014, according to WWE.com. It isn't possible to please every fan when it comes to WrestleMania locales, but there is little doubt that WWE made the perfect choice.
The WWE could hold WrestleMania in Antarctica and it would figure out a way to make it a success, so the venue isn't necessarily something that can adversely affect the Super Bowl of professional wrestling. What it can do, however, is enhance the experience. As Vince McMahon put it during the press conference to announce the news, WrestleMania is a celebration and the city of New Orleans personifies celebration.
New Orleans has long been a popular destination within the United States and that continues to be true. The city has remarkably bounced back from the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005 and it hasn't missed a beat. New Orleans hosted the Super Bowl a few weeks ago and has been home to many huge sporting events over the past year. WrestleMania XXX will add another notch in the city's belt and it is a major coup for the WWE as well.
Not only is New Orleans an incredibly unique city, but it has a ton of experience when it comes to pulling off big-time events. As wrestling fans know, WrestleMania is about far more than the WrestleMania event itself. It includes the Hall of Fame ceremony, Raw the following night and the entire week leading up to WrestleMania, which is known as Axxess. WrestleMania is essentially a week-long party and New Orleans obviously can accommodate that with Mardi Gras serving as the benchmark.
Madison Square Garden will always serve as the WWE's home base as it played host to WrestleMania I, X and XX. Because of that, many hoped that the tradition would continue with WrestleMania XXX taking place at MSG as well. The fact of the matter is, however, that the WWE has grown so much over the years that it's no longer feasible to hold WrestleMania in small arenas when there are so many huge stadiums bidding for its services.
The jewel of New York City isn't being left out in the cold, though. It will host this year's Hall of Fame ceremony with WrestleMania XXIX taking place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. I'm huge on tradition when it comes to professional wrestling, but there comes a time when new traditions need to be created, and WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans marks the beginning of that.
Another thing working in the favor of New Orleans is the fact that it has never hosted WrestleMania before. The WWE obviously knows what it's going to get if it goes to an established wrestling city like New York, Chicago or Philadelphia, but New Orleans is new and exciting. It can be argued that there is some risk present, but New Orleans is so revered as a host city that there is little doubt that WrestleMania XXX will be a huge success.
Aside from a power outage during the Super Bowl, which is an issue that will certainly be rectified by WrestleMania, New Orleans was the perfect location for the NFL's biggest event. While WrestleMania may not quite be on the same level as the Super Bowl, it is quite close and is arguably the second-biggest annual sporting event in the United States and perhaps even the world.
The WWE always carries itself well and is an asset to any city it visits, so finding a city that reciprocates that feeling is paramount. It is extremely rare to hear anyone say something negative about the city of New Orleans, so it's safe to say that the WWE and New Orleans are a match made in heaven. As McMahon put it in his speech, they are the perfect tag team.
There is currently a short list of cities that fans consider to be the best WrestleMania hosts, and it takes a lot to get on that list. Based on how effectively and seamlessly New Orleans has carried out events of this ilk in the past, it could very easily join the ranks of New York, Toronto and a select few others when it comes to premier WWE locales.
WrestleMania XXX is still more than a year away, but I'm sure many fans are already excited. Going to WrestleMania is as much about the host city as it is the event itself, and there isn't a person out there who would scoff at taking a trip down to The Big Easy. As WWE often does, it hit a home run with WrestleMania XXX.
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