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Thursday, February 20 Business

WWE’s WrestleMania to return to California next year

STAMFORD — WrestleMania is returning to the Golden State next year, as it ventures back to the West Coast six years after its last time there.

Stamford-based WWE announced Monday that it would hold the 37th edition of its marquee annual event on March 28, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. The under-construction SoFi Stadium — a 70,000-seat venue, with room for up to 100,000 spectators — will host the event.

“On behalf of everyone at WWE, we are excited to bring WrestleMania back to Los Angeles,” WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon said in a statement. “WrestleMania will set the bar for future sports and entertainment events held at SoFi Stadium as we add this facility to the list of iconic venues that have hosted our pop-culture extravaganza.”

Built on the site of the former Hollywood Park racetrack, the stadium is set to open with Taylor Swift concerts on July 25 and July 26. A few weeks later, the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams will start playing there.

At an estimated cost of $5 billion, the project comprises the most expensive stadium in NFL history.

“The city of Inglewood is thrilled to say that WrestleMania will add to the growing number of national and internationally followed events that will be hosted in our city over the next eight years,” Inglewood Mayor James Butts Jr. said in a statement.

In addition to WrestleMania 37, other planned events at SoFi Stadium include Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the college football championship game in 2023 and the opening and closing ceremonies of the summer Olympics in 2028.

WrestleMania 37 will highlight a weeklong series of events in the area. Los Angeles’ Staples Center will host NXT TakeOver, Friday Night SmackDown and Monday Night Raw. The neighboring Los Angeles Convention Center will host WWE’s annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony and a fan festival.

WrestleMania was last held in California in 2015, when Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium hosted the gathering. The event mostly recently took place in southern California in 2005, when Staples Center served as the site.

“There is nothing quite like WrestleMania Week,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “It is a one-of-a-kind event that provides an economic boost to the region — and fans from around the world will find a city that is ready to host them and welcomes the spectacle.”

This year’s WrestleMania is set for April 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. It will be streamed live globally on the subscription-based WWE Network.

Last year’s WrestleMania was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. It brought in about $165 million to the New Jersey-New York region from direct and indirect visitor spending.

The total marked the eighth-straight year that WrestleMania had generated more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region.

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Last year’s returns improved by more than 60 percent on the roughly $101 million generated by WrestleMania 29, which was held at MetLife Stadium in 2013.

pschott@stamfordadvocate.com; 203-964-2236: twitter: @paulschott

Paul Schott|Staff reporter

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