Pro Wrestling’s Signature Event Comes on Heels of Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game

PHOENIX (March 25, 2009) — Greater Phoenix has pinned down another mega spectator event.

World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania, the “Super Bowl of pro wrestling,” will bring its high-flying athletes and earth-shaking pyrotechnics to University of Phoenix Stadium on March 28, 2010.

WrestleMania is historically a fan favorite. The spectacle attracted more than 80,000 fans to Detroit’s Ford Field in 2007, and nearly 75,000 to Orlando’s Citrus Bowl in 2008. University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale, is expected to seat at least 65,000 for WrestleMania XXVI.

World Wrestling Entertainment is the latest organization to choose Greater Phoenix as the site of its signature fan event. The National Football League selected University of Phoenix Stadium as the site of the Super Bowl in February 2008, and the National Basketball Association held its 2009 All-Star Game at US Airways Center in February 2009.

Greater Phoenix also annually serves as the location of two NASCAR events and Cactus League Spring Training baseball.

WrestleMania’s main event will be augmented by WrestleMania Axxess, a four-day fan experience erected outside the stadium. Axxess is similar to the NFL Experience and NBA All-Star Jam Session. World Wrestling Entertainment also will stage a live performance of the popular Monday night television show “Raw” at US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix during the extended weekend.

“As a sheer spectator experience, WrestleMania is on par with the Super Bowl, the NBA All-Star Game and NASCAR,” said Steve Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We pursued this event aggressively, and we can’t wait to show off our amazing spring weather to thousands of visiting fans.”

This super-sized version of “Men in Tights” is serious business. According to a study commissioned by the WWE and City of Orlando last year, the economic impact of WestleMania on Central Florida in 2008 was $51.5 million. The study found that the event generated $8.2 million in taxes, including $1.8 million for local governments.

Other findings:

• Nearly half (47 percent) of the 75,000 spectators flew to Orlando for the event.
• Non-local fans spent $8 million on accommodations and $4.5 million at restaurants.
• Fans came from all 50 states and 22 countries.
• The average stay for visitors was four nights.

“No one knows what the economy might hold for us next year, but right now we feel pretty good about the visitors, spending and media coverage WrestleMania will generate for our community,” Moore said. “Greater Phoenix is definitely ready to rumble.”