WWE plans to continue WrestleMania 36 as scheduled while company monitors outbreak

WWE wrestler Roman Reigns throws a punch at Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXXI, on Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Santa Clara, CA. 2015 marks the first year Wrestlemania will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area, being made available to viewers in 177 countries via the WWE Network. (Don Feria/AP Images for WWE)
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By: Chris Bengel | CBS Sports
March 4, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. (CBSSports) -- The coronavirus outbreak has affected several areas of the world and continues to threaten sporting and entertainment events. In just a little over one month's time, one of the largest entertainment events of the year will be taking place in Tampa as WWE presents WrestleMania 36 from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, leading to speculation that the most important pro wrestling event on the calendar could be in danger of being cancelled.

In a statement released to CBS Sports, WWE revealed the company is still planning to host WrestleMania 36 on Sunday, April 5 in Tampa, but will continue closely monitor the situation.

"The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay," the statement read.

"We remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, and like other entertainment properties in the U.S., there are currently no plans to cancel or postpone our upcoming events."

WWE also has no plans to alter any of their events leading up to WrestleMania, which encompass the entire week in the host city. Within the past few days, two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the Tampa area, which certainly led to WWE keeping a closer eye on their upcoming event.

Keeping a close eye on the coronavirus makes a great deal of sense for the company considering that fans from upwards of 70 countries attend WrestleMania every year. It has had a huge economic impact for each city that hosts the event. Following WrestleMania 35, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that the event generated $165.4 million for the New York/New Jersey area when it was held at MetLife Stadium. It also was a drastic increase from the $101.2 million of revenue that the area had during WrestleMania 29 in New York/New Jersey.

Over the past 13 years, WrestleMania has generated more than $1.3 billion in revenue for cities that have hosted the annual event.

Marquee matches have already been announced for the annual event. Brock Lesnar will put the WWE championship on the line against Drew McIntyre, newly-crowned universal champion Goldberg will defend the title against Roman Reigns and Tampa resident John Cena returns to the ring to take on "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt.

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