As the years progressed, the spectacle of WrestleMania became more than just a professional wrestling show. Instead, it has become nearly an entire week of festivities, continuing to climb the ladder of being one of the biggest yearly attractions in the entire United States. What was once a distant comparison to the Super Bowl and World Series, WrestleMania has earned the reputation of an event that is considered comparable to the aforementioned sporting pinnacles, and WWE puts in everything possible to create a well-produced event that would make cities desire to host it.
WrestleMania has become so popular that WWE recently announced that Forbes labeled the spectacle as one of the 10 Most Valuable Sporting Events.
“For the third consecutive year, Forbes has named WrestleMania one of the 10 most valuable sports events in the world. Ranking at no. 5 behind only the Super Bowl, Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics and FIFA’s World Cup, The Grandest Stage of Them All is certainly among the most prestigious and elite global sporting events.”
As a result of its ongoing success, stadiums are aggressively pitching to host the event. One of those cities is Indianapolis, Indiana.
In a recent article from Indystar, Mayor Joe Hogsett is lobbying for WWE to return to the city for an upcoming WrestleMania. The event has not been held inside the city since WrestleMania VIII in 1992. This event was headlined by the awkwardly booked match between Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice, which led to a disqualification finish. Other notable matches on the card were Randy Savage defeating Ric Flair, Bret Hart regaining the WWE Intercontinental Championship by defeating “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and The Undertaker defeating Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
Hogsett explained that since its erection in 2008, the Lucas Oil Stadium has now become one of the most popular hosting venues, as it has partnered with major events such as the Super Bowl, Big Ten football championship, and NCAA Final Four. Chris Gahl, senior vice president of the Indianapolis tourism agency Visit Indy, added, “The event has grown in size and in the benefits of hosting it from a marketing perspective. The event setup plays well into how Indianapolis’ Downtown is designed. It’s very appealing to us to have a high-profile event that brings in thousands of visitors.”
The city of Indianapolis admitted that a bid was quietly submitted to host next year’s event, but was unsuccessful. Instead, WrestleMania 34 will take place in New Orleans, LA. The city also hosted WrestleMania XXX, which will make it the second time in four years. The shock and awe that left people speechless in 2014 stemmed from The Undertaker losing his prestigious streak to Brock Lesnar. To this day, many fans are not talking about the match itself, but how the decision to end Taker’s streak that way was ultimately not a good one. In contrast, the WWE Universe also remembers WrestleMania XXX as the proverbial coming out party for Daniel Bryan.
While spending months trying to plow past the constant piling of obstacles from The Authority, Bryan was finally able to convince Triple H to be a part of the main event match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, held by Randy Orton. In the opening match, Bryan was able to defeat Triple H and advance to the grand finale. In that match, Bryan was able to survive the opposition of Orton and Batista to win the championship and celebrate with all the fans inside MetLife Stadium.
For the RCA (formerly Hoosier) Dome, the 1992 WrestleMania VIII event drew over 60,000 people, which is a very impressive number back then, especially since WWE was still having WrestleMania in arenas, with the emphasis not yet being in selling out stadiums. That event held the record of the biggest attendance at the stadium before it was demolished in 2008. Based on that, Indianapolis looks to be a leading candidate of hosting a WrestleMania event within the next few years.
[Featured Image by WWE]