The Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, is expected to be named the host city for Wrestlemania 33, according to Wrestling Inc. The announcement is expected to come at a press conference next Tuesday featuring Vince McMahon, John Cena, and perhaps more WWE superstars and notables. This confirms reports from earlier this year that the WWE would descend on Orlando for the biggest show of the year in 2017.
There was some speculation last year that Minneapolis would play host to Wrestlemania 33, but they fell out of the running as recently as this January. On the surface, Minneapolis appeared to have all the necessary requirements: a new stadium fit for a Wrestlemania with a large seating capacity and retractable roof, as well as the enticement of it being Brock Lesnar’s home state in potentially the Beast’s final Wrestlemania.
According to a 2013 report from the Orlando Business Journal, the Orlando Sports Commission received a request from WWE for Orlando to submit a proposal to host Wrestlemania either in 2015 or 2016. Obviously, those plans didn’t pan out, but apparently it did not deter either side from reaching an agreement for 2017. The Sunshine State has played host to Wrestlemania twice. The Rock and John Cena’s first encounter took place in Miami for Wrestlemania 28, and the Citrus Bowl previously hosted the event back in 2008 for Wrestlemania 24.
Wrestlemania 24 was a memorable event that received a mostly positive reaction. The Canadian Online Explorer gave the event nine out of a possible 10 stars, with the infamous Shawn Michaels-Ric Flair match receiving the highest rating and accolades. Flair was forced to retire after losing to HBK in a match for the ages that left not a dry eye in the house. Randy Orton, John Cena, and Triple H competed in a triple threat match for the WWE Championship, while the Undertaker kept his Wrestlemania streak alive with a main event victory over Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Wrestlemania 24 also heavily featured some mainstream crossover appeal as the event often does. The Big Show tangled with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. with the boxer knocking out the largest athlete in the world. Snoop Dogg also made an appearance, serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjack match, in which the rapper got to kiss Maria afterwards and leave the ring with her and Ashley.
Since WWE took over the Citrus Bowl, the building has received a massive makeover. In 2014, it underwent major demolition and enormous reconstruction to the tune of $207.7 million. According to the stadium’s official website, here are the improvements made to the complex that fans have already begun enjoying and wrestling fans will certainly embrace next April for Wrestlemania.
- Lower bowl seating with six additional inches of legroom and individual chair backs
- Two wide 360-degree main concourses
- Club level with both enclosed & open-air seating
- 20,000-square-foot plaza deck
- Vibrant open-air façade
- Press box and suites on the west side
- Two bunker suites in the north endzone
- Multiple giant video displays
- Enhanced team facilities including locker rooms, training rooms and attached media interview room
- Additional restrooms, concessions and vertical transportation
- Upgraded disabled seating with improved sightlines
The renovation was completed in spring of 2015 and is primarily used for soccer matches with the Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride. The surrounding complexes should be perfect for hosting a Wrestlemania with the neighboring fields capable of fitting large crowds. Wrestling fans are always fantasy booking Wrestlemania and dreaming of matches like The Rock vs Brock Lesnar or a triple threat match between all three members of The Shield or The Undertaker’s farewell match against John Cena. Perhaps Wrestlemania 33 in the Citrus Bowl is the perfect venue for all three.
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