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Why Philadelphia lost WrestleManias 31 and 32

Dec 11, 2013, 2:11 PM EDT


There was talk over the summer that Philadelphia was in the running for a future WrestleMania, but that plan appears to have fallen by the wayside for now. World Wrestling Entertainment announced on Tuesday that Santa Clara, California won its bid to host next year’s show at Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers.

To make matters worse, an NBC Bay Area affiliate reported Cowboys Stadium is “confirmed” for WrestleMania in 2016. If true, that means the very earliest Philly could land the WWE’s hallmark event is three years from now.

’15 and ’16 were described as the target dates for a WM at Lincoln Financial Field when the story broke back in July. Both Santa Clara and Arlington were said to be competition at the time, but the dirt sheets went cold on Philly sometime between then and the announcement. So what happened?

Apparently, city officials didn’t do a good enough job of WOOOO-ing the WWE. (Pretty clever, eh?) Here’s the report by PWInsider via WrestleZone:

WWE chose Santa Clara, California to host WrestleMania 31 over Philadelphia due to Philly official’s approach to the bidding process, reports PWInsider. It’s being said that Philadelphia lost out on WrestleMania because they showed a “lack of interest”. Bay Area officials were much more inviting and enthusiastic about hosting the big event.

The Philadelphia representatives acted more like they were doing WWE a favor by hosting ‘Mania in their city, rather than the other way around. The PWInsider report is claiming that was a major factor in WWE’s decision to ultimately go with Santa Clara to host WrestleMania 31.

This is also likely the reason Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field missed out on WrestleMania 32 as well. It was confirmed this past week that the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas — home of the Dallas Cowboys — would host WrestleMania in 2016.

Assuming there’s any validity to that, it’s a curious decision by the city. Fans literally travel from all over the world to see WrestleMania, which has turned into a week-long event that includes all kinds of special access to the performers leading up to the night of the show, and as has become customary, the next night’s edition of Raw.

That’s tens of thousands of tourists that probably won’t be visiting the City of Brotherly Love anytime in the next three years—or more importantly, their wallets.

Philadelphia has a rich pro wrestling history, so there’s little doubt WrestleMania will eventually make its way back to the city. Maybe, just guessing, for WrestleMania 35, which would mark the 20-year anniversary of the last time the event was here inside the Wells Fargo Center.

Oh well. Hopefully that’s going to be the last thing Philly loses to Dallas for the rest of the month.

  1. Hextall - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Sounds like WWE didn’t want to “pay to play.”

  2. Jagwaur - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    There is also some talk that WWE didn’t want to follow the SB @ Levi Stadium in 2016.

  3. Franchise - Dec 11, 2013 at 4:24 PM

  4. ochospantalones - Dec 11, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    So the city didn’t throw a bunch of money at them to bring the event here? Isn’t that a good thing? Seems pretty clear in a situation like this where organizers can play cities off against each other to get the most favorable deal you are better off losing. WWE isn’t doing the host city any favors, they don’t care at all if works out for the city.

  5. Captain_Awesome - Dec 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM


    Ok, now that that’s out of the way, a few things to consider:

    - The past few WMs have been on the East Coast (Atlanta, Miami, NJ, New Orleans), so bringing it back out West makes sense, and to be the first major event there would be something good for the WWE. Dallas would make sense for capacity record-purposes. Although we hate Dallas, Jerry’s World can hold over 105,000 people easily, and they could probably make that happen.

    - To Jagwaur’s point, I heard as well they wanted to beat-out the SB, which they did this past year, however will be behind next year.

    - Take the dirtsheets with a grain of salt. I don’t think the City would turn down a chance to host something along the lines of a Super Bowl (in terms of local economic impact from performers, staff, & attendees) and get the opportunity to showcase the City in a positive light.

    Philly would be a great host. They pulled it off this year in NJ, so cold-weather cities hosting WM will work. Philly has a marginally smaller capacity than New Meadowlands, but in terms of infrastructure, it’s better than North Jersey by a lot and can be a more hospitable host. I went to WM this year and had a great time, but I really missed Philly’s easier accessibility to local restaurants and transport in/out. I think they’ll bring it to Philly at some point this decade. As Kulp pointed out, Philly has a great pro wrestling history and the crowd is usually pretty good. Plus, I want that post-WM Raw. Those are always better than the show itself, and I kick myself for not going to this year’s epic show.

    • Adam B - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      I find your placement of NO on the East Coast… curious.

      • Captain_Awesome - Dec 12, 2013 at 11:51 PM

        Fair point, I meant that it is eastern US.

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