With concerns over the coronavirus growing, many changes have been made to how the sports world is operating. Events have been canceled, media is getting shut out of locker rooms, and many teams are scared to travel. WWE and All Elite Wrestling are affected by the virus as well. Both promotions are looking at possibly holding empty arena shows or canceling events entirely, like others wrestling companies have done. For example, New Japan Pro Wrestling has already canceled a number of events in order to protect fans and wrestlers from potentially getting exposed to the disease.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Stephanie McMahon and WWE are not against postponing or canceling WrestleMania 36, scheduled for next month in Tampa, Florida. The promotion has indicated that it will not risk the safety and health of fans or superstars in any way and will take extreme measures if necessary.
According to Wrestling Observer Radio, by way of Wrestle Talk, this has led to both WWE and AEW to contemplate empty arena shows. With fans from more than 100 different countries expected at WrestleMania 36, the risk could end up being too high for a large gathering of people all in one place.
On Monday, it was announced that the NBA, MLB, MLS, and NHL have all temporarily banned media from entering team locker rooms to help stop the spread of the virus. Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer stated that these major sports leagues are also preparing to hold games in empty arenas, if necessary. He then went on to say that both AEW and WWE have had internal discussions about doing the same thing. He continued, by saying it would have been “negligent” to have not talked about the possibility.
WrestleMania 36 is a huge money-earner for WWE and the promotion would most likely not want to give up the revenue from the event. However, the company seems aware that safety comes first. They wouldn’t lose out on all the revenue, though. If they hold the event in an empty arena, they would still be able to earn money from its airing on the WWE Network and on pay-per-view channels.
As of this writing, there has been no word on WrestleMania 36 being canceled. Depending on how the coronavirus outbreak continues, both WWE and AEW may have to make some difficult decisions soon. Only time will tell if the events will go on as planned or if contingencies will have to be put in place.