WWE on Monday announced that it was moving its premier event, WrestleMania on April 5, from Tampa, Fla., to its Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., and closing the card to the public.
The company said the decision was made “(i)n coordination with local partners and government officials.” Only “essential personnel” will be permitted inside the Performance Center for the pay-per-view.
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Mass gatherings across the country are being scrapped as the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues. This year’s WrestleMania was to take place in the nearly 66,000-seat Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the home stadium for the NFL’s Buccaneers.
WWE saw how a production in an empty studio arena could work and look when it held “SmackDown Live” on Friday at an almost-empty Performance Center. It got another glimpse into its immediate future with its “Monday’ Night Raw” production: same facility, same awkward silence,
Take, for example, this entrance by the Undertaker:
Or this spot by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin on 3:16 Day:
Austin acknowledged the unusual setting afterward: