“WrestleMania 31, Levi’s Stadium and the Evolution of WWE’s Marquee Event”
After initially being reported by both NBC Bay Area and Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer (F4WOnline.com subscribers-only link), WWE.com has officially announced that WrestleMania 31 in 2015 is going to be held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Scheduled to open this Summer and located right on the border of Santa Clara and San Jose, Levi’s Stadium will be the home of the NFL’s San Franscico 49ers starting next season.
Levi’s Stadium is also the host of Super Bowl 50 in 2016. This will be the second time in three years that WrestleMania runs a new stadium the year before the Super Bowl, as WrestleMania 29 this year was at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (across the Hudson River from New York City), which hosts the Super Bowl this February.
In the NBC Bay Area article, it was noted that San Jose/Santa Clara beat out a bid from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to host WrestleMania at Lincoln Financial Field. While personally, I’d love another WrestleMania in the northeast, two years after New York/New Jersey would be too soon.
One thing that’s become very clear in the last few years is that WrestleMania is never, ever returning to a basketball/hockey arena setting. Starting with WrestleMania 23 in Detroit at Ford Field, WrestleMania has been in a stadium ever year.
The reason for the change is pretty simple: Cities and states now bid for WrestleMania because it provides such a large economic impact. While WWE could theoretically scale an arena with ticket prices that come close to giving them a stadium-level gate, the bidding governments need the stadium size groups of fans pumping money into the local economy.