WrestleMania has grown so much in the past 30 years. Every year now, multiple cities engage in talks with the WWE for the right to host it. It now regularly brings hundreds of millions of dollars to the host city’s economy, so you can see why cities must now bid on it. WWE has gone to many great cities over the event’s history, some more than once (New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Houston, Toronto). However there are some great cities that have never hosted the event. The direction WWE has gone in recent years is towards stadiums where the NFL has or will go for Super Bowls or which are brand new.
Cities that don’t have a suitable stadium will not be considered. The event has gotten far too big for WWE to go back to arenas. That leaves several great cities out of the mix for hosting the event. New Orleans was checked off that list this year, as will the San Francisco bay area next year when WrestleMania heads to Santa Clara at the 49ers’ new home, Levi’s Stadium. Dallas will get their first when WrestleMania goes to AT&T Stadium in 2016. Since we know San Francisco and Dallas will get it, we’ll scratch them off this list and go with 10 cities the WWE should consider in the future.
10. San Antonio, Texas
The WWE loves Texas and why shouldn’t they? So many legendary superstars have come out of the state, and there’s a rabid fan base for pro wrestling. Houston has hosted twice, Dallas will host soon, so that leaves San Antonio.
They have a suitable venue with the Alamodome, as is has a capacity of 65,000 and is expandable to about 72,000 for a wrestling event. The river walk makes for a cool area for tourists, which there is no shortage of on WrestleMania weekend.
The city has a population of 1.3 million, so it’s not a huge market, but an adequate one for WrestleMania and one that’s on the rise. Plus, a WrestleMania here will attract visitors from all over Texas anyway. It’s also the home of Mr. WrestleMania himself, Shawn Michaels.
9. Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver’s recent renovations of B.C. Place makes it worthy of consideration for WrestleMania. The stadium is amazing and the city will have no problem attracting visitors. Its greater area population is roughly 2.5 million. With it being right on the West coast, fans could journey north on the I-5 highway and they’ll find themselves in Canada for a WrestleMania.
The city also successfully hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, so they’ve proven themselves worthy of hosting big events.
With it being on the coast, it’ll be easier for fans from Asia, or Australia to fly in. It’s high time WrestleMania heads back to Canada and Vancouver would be a fine choice.
8. Calgary, Alberta
Any Canadian knows how important the province of Alberta has been to Canada’s economy. Calgary is a city that has been on the rise for years now and they would very much be worthy of WrestleMania. It’s also home to Canada’s royalty when it comes to professional wrestling; the Hart family.
The city’s population falls around 1.5 million, but wrestling fans from all over the Prairies and Western Canada would make the journey to Calgary. Plus, hardcore wrestling fans will have no problems making the trip.
The biggest obstacles for Calgary are the weather and their stadium situation. Even if WrestleMania happens in April, there’s no guarantee that the weather would cooperate. Calgary’s only stadium big enough is outdoors and would only be able to seat around 45,000 for a wrestling event. WWE has gone to stadiums with at least 65,000 seating capacity. It’s not exactly state of the art either. Bonus though, it is called McMahon Stadium!
Still, the city itself is worthy of the event, but they likely won’t host it unless they were to build a new stadium or heavily renovate their current one.
7. Pittsburgh, Pensylvania
Pittsburgh is a very underrated city, but it has exactly the kind of crowd that will flock to an event like WrestleMania. It’s a blue-collar town with passionate fans, and they have quite a wrestling history themselves. The metro population sits at 2.3 million and fans from all across Pennsylvania will have no problem making the trip.
It is the home of the longest reigning WWE champion in history, Bruno Sammartino. It is also the home of the only Olympic Gold Medalist in WWE history, Kurt Angle.
Heinz Field would also make for a very cool venue for the event, with a view of the river and the skyline of Pittsburgh. It holds 65,000 for football, but could be expanded to over 70,000 for a wrestling event.
6. Mexico City, Mexico
If WrestleMania is a worldwide phenomenon, then it’s about time the WWE goes international with it. Besides two WrestleManias in Toronto, they have not ventured outside of the United States.
If you’re looking for a place with a rich wrestling history, you’ve got a doozy in Mexico City. The legend of Lucha Libre is well documented and WWE has long made it a priority to reach out to the Mexican market. What better way to reach out than to give them your biggest event?
It has the densest population in the world, and Estadio Azteca holds over 100,000. What a sight that would be for WrestleMania.
WWE’s main concerns might be security measures, as they have many fans from around the world every year. There are around 15 million US visitors per year in Mexico and it’s no secret many tourists have fallen victim to kidnappings, extortion by law enforcement and robbery. This could be part of what has prevented WWE from seriously considering Mexico City as an option.
5. Minneapolis, Minnesota
The whole state of Minnesota is rich in wrestling history, being the home of the AWA back in the 60s until 1991. Brock Lesnar, Verne Gagne, Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect and Jesse the Body Ventura are all legends who came out of this state.
Minneapolis will likely host a WrestleMania once the Vikings’ new home is built. When their new stadium is completed, they’ll likely be near the top of the WWE’s choices, as the new stadium’s blueprints look very promising and very much worthy of a WrestleMania. Minneapolis will also likely push hard for it, as they’re paying for a strong portion of the new stadium and will want a huge event like WrestleMania to bring the city money and help pay it off.
The metro area of Minneapolis, St.Paul and Bloomington is also the 15th largest market in America, with a population of 3.4 million. With the WWE beating the NFL to the punch in hosting at Metlife and Levi’s, it wouldn’t be surprising if they want to do it again with the Vikings’ new stadium and bring WrestleMania 33 there. All the pieces are in place for Minneapolis to get the event.
4. Charlotte, North Carolina
Woo! How has the WWE not gone to the home of the Nature Boy Ric Flair?
Charlotte has a rich wrestling history, as it was the home base for Jim Crockett Promotions and one of NWA’s and WCW’s mainstay cities. North Carolina is also a great state in itself, with a young population and a greater area home to around 2.3 million people. They have a suitable venue in Bank of America Stadium, which is actually undergoing some renovations. That will make the 18-year-old facility top notch. It seats roughly 74,000 for football and could possibly go to 80,000 for wrestling.
Charlotte should push hard for WrestleMania and show the world what they’re made of.
3. St. Louis, Missouri
WrestleMania seems to be the only big wrestling event that has eluded St. Louis. The city has hosted Royal Rumbles, Survivor Series, many RAWs, SmackDowns, etc… yet they’ve never had the granddaddy of them all.
Missouri was a mainstay for the NWA, making it a city filled with wrestling history. The legendary Terry Funk has said that St. Louis was the best place to wrestle.
The population of the greater St. Louis area is roughly 2.7 million, making it a big enough market. Edward James Stadium, home of the Rams, seats around 66,000 fans and could easily expand to 70,000 for wrestling. WWE has shown a lot of love to St. Louis, as they’ve remained a loyal wrestling market. So why not reward them with a WrestleMania?
2. Montreal, Quebec
If Montreal has proven one thing, it’s that they know how to host big events and create a party across the whole city. The city hosts the Grand Prix annually, an event that brings tourists from around the world. They hosted Expo ’67, the 1976 Olympics and have hosted the Grey Cup. The downtown core of the city would be a great place for the WWE to invade with events like Axxess and make WrestleMania feel like a party.
If the WWE is to come back to Canada for a WrestleMania, they should take a long, hard look at Montreal. It’s the 15th largest market in North America, with a metro population of 3.8 million – the second largest in Canada.
Montreal has a rich history in wrestling and always gives the WWE loud reactions. Plus, WWE still owes them for putting them through the 1997 Screwjob.
The only problem for Montreal is their stadium issue. Any Montrealer knows the Olympic Stadium is a concrete dump, yet it’s the only venue big enough to host a WrestleMania. WWE officials would likely rule out Montreal as soon as they set foot in there. That’s literally the only thing working against Montreal. Once Montreal has a stadium worthy of an event like WrestleMania, they’ll likely get one.
1. London, England
I can understand WWE’s reluctance to go overseas. It would mean fans in North America would be watching WrestleMania in the afternoon, but I say that lone problem is worth it to break new ground in Europe.
If any city overseas should get a WrestleMania, it’s London. They’ve long remained loyal to the WWE and pro wrestling in general. It’s one of the world’s largest tourist attractions and it recently hosted the 2012 summer Olympics. They’d be well prepared for an event like WrestleMania.
European crowds are always loud and they’d undoubtedly give WrestleMania a suitable atmosphere.
The WWE has hosted SummerSlam at Wembley and for a stadium as internationally iconic as Wembley, the WWE would have themselves a grand stage. The market certainly isn’t a problem with over 8 million in the city alone and a metro area population of over 15 million.
I think it’s only a matter of time before WWE goes there and when they do, they won’t be sorry.