Photo courtesy of WWE.com
The WWE has held WrestleMania in cool-climate locales many times over the years, and it has been staged outdoors quite often as of late as well. WrestleMania XXIX at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. marks the first time the WWE has combined both of those factors, but I doubt it will be the last.
Plenty of fans were surprised when the WWE announced last year that WrestleMania XXIX would take place at MetLife Stadium due to the erratic weather conditions. The show is set to happen on April 7, and while the New York City area's temperature is usually on the upswing by that point, almost anything can happen, including rain or snow.
Will the WWE have more cold-weather, outdoor WrestleManias in the future?
MetLife Stadium is still a new facility and has yet to host an event as big as WrestleMania. The Super Bowl will be staged there next year, but the WWE has the privilege of truly breaking the stadium in. Also, there is no place in the United States that supports more currency exchange than the New York/New Jersey area. The WWE will have tons of festivities during the week leading up to WrestleMania, and the company stands to make a killing.
The weather likely isn't much of a consideration at all for McMahon. All of the outdoor WrestleManias before this one have been in warm-weather cities, but that had more to do with other factors. There simply aren't a lot of big-time venues in the northeast that scream "WrestleMania," but there is no doubt that MetLife Stadium does.
Provided things go well this year, though, the WWE will probably explore other cold-weather WrestleManias in the future. Having the show of shows at Soldier Field in Chicago at some point is a definite possibility due to the history behind the venue and the size of the WWE fanbase in Chicago. Philadelphia and Boston also look like strong candidates because the WWE would be guaranteed to make a ton of money.
Even if it snows at WrestleMania XXIX, it is highly unlikely to deter McMahon moving forward. In fact, a little bit of snow or rain could add to the atmosphere. Outdoor WrestleManias are extra special as a rule, but they could be made even more memorable with a little precipitation. People in New York and the northeast in general are used to crazy weather, so I'm sure that everyone will be prepared for the worst.
It would probably make for a great scene on television if it were to snow or rain, so Vince may even be secretly hoping that it happens. It would make WrestleMania XXIX truly unique, and that is always the goal with WrestleMania. McMahon wants each and every one of them to stand out in some way, and cool-climate 'Manias fit the bill in that regard.
While no professional sports organization can compete with the NFL, I'm sure that McMahon uses the NFL as a benchmark in a lot of ways. There have been 47 Super Bowls in NFL history, and all of them have either taken place in a warm-weather city or indoors. The NFL is bucking that trend with Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, and it is no coincidence that the WWE is doing the same thing.
WrestleMania has become such a phenomenon that it probably won't ever take place in a 20,000-seat arena again. The WWE needs huge venues to accommodate it, and that will continue to be the case. If the WWE intends to reward its northeastern markets with WrestleMania, then the only real option moving forward is to have the show outdoors and risk inclement weather.
The biggest show in wrestling has truly evolved over the years both in size and scope, and the WWE's outdoor venture in New Jersey is likely to set the standard for many WrestleManias to come.