Hello there fellow Bleachers!
I’m Alex Guy, you may have read one of my previous articles ‘WWE WrestleMania Outside Of North America? Weighing The Pros And Cons’ (if you didn’t, now might be a good time to go and read it). It generated a decent amount of debate over the various pros and cons I listed in the slideshow, so much so that I’ve decided to turn this into a little series!
This article will look at various venues around the world in which WrestleMania could be held, if it were ever to be held outside of North America. I’ve narrowed my selections down to one stadium per continent (Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and South America) which was difficult enough in itself, but which one of these venues would get to host the biggest event in sports entertainment?
Well, let’s get stuck into figuring that out…
The FNB Stadium, formerly ‘Soccer City’, was constructed in 1986 and opened in 1989. It has a maximum capacity of 94,736 and cost around $440 million to build.
South Africa has shown, with its hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, that it is very capable of holding major events, and the FNB stadium provided a great backdrop for the final between Spain and The Netherlands.
Over recent episodes of both Raw and SmackDown, WWE has played clips showing how much of a success its recent tour of South Africa was, so could this success translate into a WrestleMania being held in this iconic setting?
The Beijing National Stadium, commonly known as ‘The Birds Nest’, was constructed in 2003 and officially opened in 2008, It has a maximum capacity of 91,000 and cost around $423 million to build.
The ‘Birds Nest’ was specifically constructed to host track and field events during the 2008 summer Olympics. Although not the biggest stadium in Asia, it is situated in the most populated country in the world, a lot of whom are WWE crazy.
Much like the South Africa tour, the WWE’s first ever tour to China received a lot of TV coverage and many stated that this ‘broke boundaries’ for the WWE overseas. Perhaps hosting a WrestleMania there would push these boundaries even further?
The Melbourne Cricket Ground, commonly known as ‘The MCG’, opened in 1854 and has received a number of developments, taking the total cost of the stadium to around a staggering $600 million. It has a maximum capacity of 100,018, making it the largest on this list.
The MCG, although originally built for cricket, now hosts a number of sports, including Soccer and Australian Rules Football. It is referred to as the ‘Spiritual Home Of Australian Sport’. It also holds the unique record of being the first stadium to have its annual number of visitors equal the population of the city it is based in.
Tours to Australia are few and far between, could the WWE make up for this by sending its premiere PPV to ‘Oz’?
Wembley Stadium, situated in the heart of London, was constructed in 2003 and opened in 2007, replacing the famous ‘Twin Towers’ of the old Wembley stadium. At a cost of $1.57 billion it is the most costly stadium on this list and has a maximum capacity of around 90,000.
The home of the English national soccer team, the 2011 and 2013 UEFA Champions League finals and The FA and League Cup finals has, in recent years, opened itself up to being much more than a soccer venue, with rugby, racing events, concerts and even NFL games being held there.
WWE tours Europe, more specifically the UK, frequently, and holds a broadcast of Raw and SmackDown from there on multiple occasions each year. Does this mean that Europe is a prime candidate to play host to a future WrestleMania?
The Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, although known worldwide as The Estádio do Maracanã, was constructed in 1948 and opened in 1950. It is currently under renovations that will see its capacity raised from 82,238 to around 85,000.
The Maracanã has been the subject of many renovations since it was first opened, after many cases of spectators entering the stadium without a ticket. The largest scale of which saw The Maracanã shatter attendance records by holding a reported 210,000 people for a soccer match between Brazil and Uruguay in 1950.
With the stadium due to finish its most recent renovation before 2013, would a WrestleMania be the perfect event to reopen this record breaking stadium?
In my opinion, all of these Stadiums would provide a fantastic backdrop to the overall spectacle that is WrestleMania. Additionally, each of the stadiums is housed in a vibrant and colourful city which would provide great excitement to surround WrestleMania week with.
Personally, I couldn’t separate these stadiums and cities if it was my job to pick which one should hold a WrestleMania. If pushed, I would go for Wembley Stadium, purely because it is closest to me, and would thus give me greater opportunity to experience WrestleMania.
However, as always here on Bleacher Report, the comment box is there for a reason. Feel free to have your say. Which stadium would you pick? Would you pick a stadium I haven’t featured?
As always, your constructive feedback and suggestions for future articles are appreciated.
Thank you for reading!