WrestleMania 36 at Risk of Being Canceled by Hillsborough County in Florida

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 14, 2020

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 30: General view of the scoreboard and pirate ship in the north end zone as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. The Falcons won 34-32. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller told Fox 13 Tampa Bay that he will probably have to "pull the plug" on WrestleMania 36 if the WWE doesn't decide to do so itself in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m hoping that Vince McMahon and WrestleMania and WWE make the call themselves but a week from now, if they've not done that and we’re still in the situation we're in, we'll probably have to pull the plug on that," Miller said.

The event is slated to take place on Sunday, April 5, at Tampa Bay's Raymond James Stadium, the home of the NFL's Buccaneers. Per Marc Raimondi of ESPN.com, over 70,000 people were expected to attend.

Raimondi asked the WWE for comment and was referred to a statement the promotion released Thursday:

"While we remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, we are putting contingency plans in place in the event that it is cancelled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues. The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay."

Sports and entertainment organizations are canceling or postponing seasons and/or events en masse in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with few exceptions.

Right now, the WWE is one of them, although it moved its top two televised shows (Monday Night Raw and SmackDown) to its performance center in Orlando, Florida, without fans in the building.

As for WrestleMania, the show is currently scheduled to go on, but pressure is building to nix the event in Tampa.

"I commend every sports franchise for erring on the side of caution," Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said. "I hope the WWE follows suit. I don't ever want to see people put profit over public safety."

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also emphasized mass gatherings over the next 30 days should likely be canceled, per Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times.

WrestleMania 36 currently has five matches on its card, including a WWE Championship match between Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre.