London's Wembley Stadium Should Host a Future WrestleMania
When WWE considers where to take WrestleMania in the coming years, it needs to take a long look at a city in London that would make one of the best hosts of that event ever.
Time difference be damned, WWE needs to find a way to bring the premier event to England's capital. The fervent passion of that fanbase, the prestige of Wembley Stadium and the chance to expand WrestleMania beyond North America make London an ideal location.
When asked about whether the United Kingdom would ever host another WWE pay-per-view, Jim Ross wrote on his blog:
Never say never but being live in North America at 7 or 8 p.m… eastern time is imperative. Being LIVE, LIVE is the key here in my view. Without question, WWE would be able to fill a stadium in the UK but addressing the time zone, live broadcast issues are matters that I simply can’t answer.
If time difference is indeed the biggest issue, London's positives should serve as plenty of motivation to work around it.
English WWE crowds bring the same unbridled energy to wrestling shows that they bring to football matches. The audience sings in unison. They hum, they buzz, they blow air horns.
Travel back to 1992, when Bret Hart met Davey Boy Smith for the Intercontinental Championship.
Imagine that energy multiplied by the power of WrestleMania. This is what London fans and English fans in general would bring to the event.
The English have long had a reputation for being vocally appreciative WWE audiences.
When Raw came to Birmingham last year, the atmosphere had an explosive feel to it, like a powder keg sitting next to a campfire. The crowd's expressiveness actually worked to improve the show itself.
Arda Orcal of Baltimore Sun wrote, "Many segments and matches felt even more special just because the Birmingham crowd was so vocal."
If those fans got that hyped up for an episode of Raw, it's hard to imagine what they would do should a WrestleMania come their way.
On its official website, Wembley Stadium is referred to as the "Venue for Legends."
It's certainly a structure with the grand feel that WrestleMania requires. Its modern design is highlighted by an arch curving over its roof.
At least 90,000 fans can pack into the gorgeous stadium, which features a partially retractable roof.
Both of the seating capacity and roof design should make WWE officials happy. The 90,000 could easily be expanded as it's just the number of seats available around the field. WrestleMania would cram additional folks around the ring area. The retractable roof helps ease worries of inclement weather.
Is WrestleMania the next high-profile addition to its resume?
Dave Meltzer (via The Sun) reported that WWE is considered taking a SummerSlam to London, and likely Wembley in particular. Rob McNichol went on to write in that same article, "WWE may just be persuaded to host a PPV here by the quality, not just quantity, of crowds in the UK."
Perhaps SummerSlam will serve as a warm-up. Once WWE sees how massive and enthused English fans can be for a pay-per-view, once they see the glory that is the new Wembley, that should lead to serious consideration of bringing a WrestleMania there at some point.
Time Difference and Final Thoughts
London is four hours ahead of the Eastern Standard Time and seven hours ahead of the Pacific Time Zone. That means WWE is going to have do some tinkering to have the event at a decent hour live and not have it be too early in the United States.
Seeing as how English fans are used to staying up late to watch Raw live, leaning toward having WrestleMania being later live makes perfect sense.
Attending a WrestleMania live is, for most folks, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Would WWE-starved British fans be willing to party into the late hours of the night to see WWE's biggest event in their backyard? Of course they would.
Sure, you may discourage some fans with young kids in tow, but plenty of folks would be willing to step in for that demographic.
If people are willing to stay up late for great deals at an electronics store or to stand in line for concert tickets, the safe bet is that they would do it for The Showcase of the Immortals.
The volume and intensity of London's fans begs to have the event go there. A handsome, elegant stadium awaits.
New Jersey gets this year's WrestleMania. New Orleans will play host to WrestleMania XXX.
Eventually, WrestleMania needs to make its way to Wembley, to London, to the heart of the England's ardent fanbase.
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