FOX13 News Tampa Bay reported on Friday that WWE and Hillsborough County appear to be engaged in a standoff about the status of WrestleMania, as large events and massive gatherings across the country are being canceled to avoid the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller told FOX 13 News Tampa he is “hoping Vince McMahon…and WWE make the call themselves, but a week from now if they [WWE] have not done that and we’re [Hillsborough County] still in the situation we’re are in, we will probably have to pull the plug on that.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister stated the community’s safety has to come first. Chronister also said he commends “every sports franchise for erring on the side of caution”, and hopes “the WWE follows suit”, and that he “doesn’t ever want to see people put profit over public safety.”
Fox 13 News also noted that according to WWE, canceling WrestleMania would put more than $150 million of economic impact in jeopardy for the Tampa area.
We reported on Thursday that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated in a press conference he is recommending all local authorities to cancel or postpone all mass gatherings of people over the next 30 days.
It should be noted that the Governor of Florida does not have authority to force leagues or entertainment events to cancel. However, he strongly urges cancelations to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Prior to the announcement from Florida’s Governer, the City of Tampa stated on Twitter that WrestleMania is still going forward, and that people are directed to contact WWE regarding questions of a cancellation. However, Tampa officials did reiterate that they are monitoring the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will work with venues as needed.
On Thursday WWE issued a statement saying they remain committed to having WrestleMania in Tampa on April 5, but are putting contingency plans in place.
We will continue to follow this story as more develops.