At a news conference at the Citrus Bowl Tuesday morning, Governor Rick Scott, City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs announced that WrestleMania 33 would be held in Orlando next year.
The bid will bring the celebrated event to fans, but it will also have a near-$100 million impact on the local economy of the area, according to Jacobs.
“It benefits the entire community,” she said. “We’re not talking construction jobs, but event jobs, as well as just boosting the local economy.”
She also said the WWE had partnered with Full Sail University to produce NXT TV tapings each month. To give back, Jacobs said the WWE had awarded a total of $250,000 in scholarships for Full Sail students.
Scott and Dyer said they were proud that the WWE selected Orlando for WrestleMania next year.
“We are the first city to host WrestleMania twice,” Dyer said, with the last time being in 2008 for WrestleMania 24. “We are the most visited city in the world. Having WWE select us again is a testament to all that is great about Orlando.”
Also appearing at the news conference was a gala of famed WWE wrestlers, including Ric Flair, his daughter Charlotte, John Cena and multiple members of the McMahon family, all of whom expressed satisfaction that WrestleMania would be held here.
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said WrestleMania was something like the best of Hollywood, Broadway and a rock concert combined into one, and that fans would “leave emotionally exhausted, but with big smiles on their faces.”
Cena and Stephanie McMahon talked up the universal appeal of WrestleMania and the WWE in general.
“If people aren’t into WrestleMania, chances are, they’re into some form of entertainment,” Cena said. “Something makes them laugh; something makes them cry. Something makes them angry, and something makes them full of joy. We do it all, in a family friendly environment. Age, race, sex, it doesn’t matter. You come and be entertained.”
Fellow WWE Champion Roman Reigns is a Florida native himself, coming from Pensacola. He said it was a personal point of pride that the 2017 WrestleMania would be held in his birth state.
To Reigns, what makes WrestleMania’s location in Orlando great is the pairing of the event with Orlando’s theme parks and other entertainment. The pairing, he said, created a perfect environment for those looking to get drawn into a story.
“This city is on the grind, and pushing itself through business year round,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what the weather is. It doesn’t matter if there’s a hurricane coming. It’s all about creating that magic and creating a universe for people to get lost in. It’s great we’re mixing it up again — it’s a perfect relationship between two storytelling companies.”
WrestleMania 33 will kick off on Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Orlando.