WWE WrestleMania Outside of North America? Weighing the Pros and Cons
A lot has changed about WrestleMania from it’s inception in 1985 to the present day. Attendance, media coverage, production costs and revenue are just some of the changes from a business point of view, not to mention the amount of WWE superstars, other sportsmen and celebrities that have performed on "the grandest stage of them all."
When thinking about WrestleMania, I believe there are only two things that have never changed. The first one of these will likely never change: the spectacle of WrestleMania. Where wrestling fans gather to talk, about storylines, scandals and superstars, the word ‘WrestleMania’ will never be too far away.
WrestleMania is an event that the whole year builds to and then builds from; it is the pinnacle of sports entertainment and the highlight of every WWE employee, superstars and fans calendar. The spectacle, I hope, will never change.
However, one thing that I think could and should be changed, is the location where WrestleMania is held. The WWE has held twenty-seven WrestleMania’s and each time, the event has been held in North America, in just two countries: the United States of America and Canada. With WWE constantly plugging itself and being plugged by others as a "Global Juggernaut," should the WWE send its premiere Pay-Per-View global, too?
Following on from my recent Pros and Cons slideshow, I’ve decided to weigh three Pros and three Cons of the possibility of holding the biggest event in sports entertainment outside of North America, so let's get started!
Pro: Giving International Fans ‘The WrestleMania Experience’
WrestleMania is not just about the event itself, there are the television broadcasts of Raw and SmackDown that precede and follow the event. There is "WrestleMania Fan Axxess," the Hall of Fame ceremony and there is the overall feeling of the WWE taking over a city for an entire week.
As international fans, I and many like me can’t experience this feeling of a ‘WrestleMania takeover’ from behind our television sets. Every year we see clips of fans at events like Axxess stating all the places around the world they have traveled to experience WrestleMania, surely, WrestleMania could come to them?
Con: Cost to the WWE
I’m sure that if the WWE were to consider holding WrestleMania outside of North America, this would be the most talked about factor. Simply put, the WWE is a business and the aim of all businesses is to make money, lots of money.
Holding WrestleMania abroad would increase almost every cost to the WWE you could think of: production, travel, transport, materials, staging, planning, employee payment, you name it. It’s more expensive than it would be in North America.
Pro: Increasing the WWE’s Popularity Overseas
As I stated in the introductory slide, the WWE is already a ‘"Global Juggernaut," but as with all juggernauts, there is always room to roll on further. I’m pretty convinced that the whole WrestleMania experience provides something to like about the WWE for everyone, regardless of age, gender, race or religion.
If the WWE can slightly interest a potential fan base they never knew existed, simply because of the spectacle that is WrestleMania, that interest will almost certainly develop and eventually, turn into profit for the WWE.
Con: Where Would It Be Held?
So let’s imagine the WWE decides it does want to hold it’s first ever WrestleMania outside of North America, the announcement is made and bids are received from countries that want to hold the event. Could you imagine the applications the WWE would receive?!
Almost every country in the world with a large enough stadium to meet WrestleMania requirements would be attempting to make the case for WrestleMania to come to their homeland. A decision would have to be made and the WWE would risk disappointing fans and committees from unsuccessful applicants, which may reduce that particular nations future backing of the company.
Pro: Making the WWE Stand out Against Competitors
The Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup and the NBA Finals are all major events that are most popular in North America. To stage these events outside of North America doesn't seem to make much sense.
However, there have been recent movements to move some regular season games leading up these events overseas. For example, the NFL over the past few years has staged a regular season game at Wembley Stadium in England. By moving their premiere event of the year overseas, the WWE would stand out against this competition that they regularly compete for TV viewers with.
Con: Disappointing the North American Audience
Despite the WWE’s global popularity, it will always be biggest in North America. The WWE operates from the USA and therefore, operates the majority of its televised shows, house shows and PPV’s in the USA and Canada. So does this mean that the fans from North America can expect WrestleMania to be held in their continent every year?
It certainly seems that over the course of the previous twenty-seven WrestleMania’s it is a foregone conclusion that the event will be held in North America, if the event were to be moved elsewhere, there may be a sense of disappointment in the North American fan base.
As an international fan myself, I’m always going to say that yes, WrestleMania should, every few years, be held outside of North America. The WrestleMania experience is something that all WWE fans hope to participate in at least once in their lives. By taking WrestleMania overseas, WWE increases the chances that their global fan base can be a part of the spectacle that is WrestleMania.
As is always with Bleacher Report, the comment box is there for a reason. So feel free to have your say. Do you think WrestleMania should be held outside of North America? Where should it be held? How could it be made possible?
As always, your constructive feedback and suggestions for future articles are appreciated.
Thank you for reading!