We are only 34 days from the Grandaddy Of ‘Em All, WrestleMania 36, taking place April 5 in Tampa, Florida. This year’s card is taking shape nicely, with two new main event-level matches being solidified last Friday: Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns and John Cena vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt.
However, the recent spread of coronavirus throughout the world is becoming a serious concern, putting a hindrance on numerous public gatherings. On Sunday, March 1, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a public health emergency following the news that two Florida residents (one a Tampa-area resident) were diagnosed with the potentially deadly virus. Both patients have been quarantined, though only one has a history of traveling outside the country to an affected part of the world.
Speaking with the Tampa Bay Times last Thursday, before the announcement of these new Florida coronavirus cases, WWE CBO Stephanie McMahon had this to say regarding WrestleMania’s status in the Sunshine State:
“The health and safety of not only our fan base, but also our superstars, really does come first. We don’t want to put anyone in a bad situation ever, regardless of the circumstance. Those are not risks worth taking.”
WWE EVP of special events John Saboor added the following:
“Given the number of live events that (WWE) does, it’s constantly monitoring global events. There are active and ongoing discussions at play internally, like there are in any sector of American business, and certainly families as a whole. So I think those will continue.”
A number of Japanese wrestling promotions have canceled or rearranged events because of the coronavirus outbreak, including New Japan Pro Wrestling, Stardom and Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. With just over a month until Mania, you have to wonder what the contingency plan could be. An empty arena? Hey, it’s happened before.