Amid continued global concern regarding the coronavirus pandemic, rumors on Wednesday night suggested that WWE would be moving this week's Friday Night SmackDown taping, which is scheduled to take place in Detroit. However, it appears that the show might be pushing forward in its original location after all, as suggested by a subsequent tweet that followed the original reports.
Citing a report from PWInsider, Wrestling Inc. was among the many publications to write that Friday's scheduled SmackDown and 205 Live tapings at the Little Caesar's Arena will be moved to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. This came one day after state officials confirmed Michigan's first two coronavirus cases, with both patients reportedly from the metropolitan Detroit area, as reported by Fox 2 Detroit.
Hours after the rumored change of venue was first reported, WWE Backstage panelist and Pro Wrestling Sheet founder Ryan Satin took to Twitter on Thursday morning, noting that this week's SmackDown has not been canceled. While he did not cite any sources in his tweet, Satin added that WWE will soon be publishing a statement regarding the matter and offering more details on the situation.
At the moment, next week's episode of Monday Night Raw, which will be taped from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, remains on schedule. It isn't clear, however, whether WWE has any plans of moving the show to another venue like it supposedly did for this week's SmackDown and 205 Live episodes.While it looks to be all systems go for this week's Friday Night SmackDown, based on Satin's tweet, the fate of WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the year — WrestleMania 36 — remains up in the air. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is scheduled to meet with city officials on Thursday to determine whether WrestleMania 36 and other "major" events should be canceled due to the coronavirus. As of now, WWE reportedly doesn't have any plans of canceling the event, which will be held on April 5 at the Raymond James Stadium.
If WWE ends up changing venues for certain shows or canceling them over coronavirus concerns, the company will be far from the first in the world of sports to do so. As reported by The Inquisitr, the NBA announced on Wednesday night that it will be suspending the 2019-20 season indefinitely, shortly after a game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz was called off at the last minute. This decision was made shortly after it was reported that a Jazz player — supposedly center Rudy Gobert — had tested positive for the coronavirus.