Thursday, 4 October 2012

10 non American/Canadian future venues for Wrestlemania.

Holding a PPV outside of North America is a rare thing for WWE. Its been done before and has been successful in the past. I remember watching Summerslam 92 at home on TV witnessing the old Wembley Stadium rocking during the great Bulldog-Hitman match. Over 78,000 people and maybe more took in that event live (According to the WWF it was 80,355 making it the 2nd highest attendance after Wrestlemania III but even that Wrestlemania III attendance is widely disputed)

Holding a future Wrestlemania in Europe would be a great thing for the host City. The tourism generated would benefit everybody in the area as people would travel all over Europe and even transatlantic all ready to spend the Euro/Pound from the moment they arrive. Times are hard and the exchange rate doesn't do visitors coming into Europe many favours but breaks and holidays are planned around this event and money is spent. Of course it would be a great thing looking at things from our side but how does it fair for the American and Canadian market and the WWE as a company? Time difference is the killer here simply put. I would put the added cost of logistics in second place as a reason not to hold a Mania outside of America/Canada. The time difference would be tolerable to New Yorkers but for somebody in Los Angeles it would be a screwjob :)

Moving the entire set across oceans to dress a stadium would be a logistical cash drainer even though it would look cool. I always wishful think that maybe one day Wrestlemania would be held at the new Wembley Stadium, I would be down there like a shot. Its probably never going to happen but with this thought in mind I thought I would write up a list of the 10 places outside of America and Canada where Wrestlemania could be held against the common sense of holding it in North America and to give some valid reason as to why to hold it there even if overall it doesn't make logistical and financial sense.

Number 10.
Olympic Stadium - London

Pretty much completed on time for the London 2012 Olympics. The Olympic Stadium was home to a grand and successful Olympics. the Olympic Stadium could be the new home of the English Premiership team West Ham United after London 2012.
Many people have been up in arms regarding the future of the stadium after the Olympics have finished, Tottenham and Leighton Orient have been vocal about occupying the stadium after the games. Would be very accessible to most people in Europe and the area would offer good amenities. East London is generally a lower cost of living compared with other parts of London. A good location for a future Wrestlemania but the weather could be a issue for England in April.

Number 9
San Siro - Milan, Italy

The home of A.C Milan is steeped in history. Sitting in western Milan this towerhouse should be a backdrop in the minds in everybody who witnessed the World Cup in Italy 1990. Almost everybody in England knows about Paul Gascoigne and the tears which ran from his eyes during a World Cup match where he received a second yellow card and a ban from the final if England got there (they didn't). The San Siro looks like a fortress and is a fortress for AC Milan. With four imposing concrete supports in each corner which look more like medieval turrets and a great view due to the steep angle of the stadium design. Milan experiences generally warm weather in April and the San Siro is designed with a good level of concrete protection from the elements. The Italian market for WWE is a strong one and with this in mind along with the popular tourist destination of Milan this is a viable location for a future Wrestlemania.

 Number 8
Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany.

A pretty eye candy appealing stadium the Allianz Stadium sits in Munich, Germany. It has the honour of holding a semi final match in the World Cup 2006 between Portugal and France which Portugal won 1-0. Home to Both FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munchen. The Allianz Arena is one of the most iconic stadia from the 2006 World Cup. German infrastructure is some of the best in the world especially improved after the 2006 World Cup and the German autobahns are a delight to travel upon. Germany is a scenic country with many places to explore. The river Rhine which runs through many Countries ends up in Germany. Some of the most scenic riverbanks in the world are located here and Germany is a prime location for a holiday due to all of this. Germany has always been a stronghold for the Wrestling market and it has a history of independent promotions. The Allianz could easily cope with +80,000 with top amenities therefore its my number 8 in my 'Mania will never be held here list'.

Number 7
Amsterdam Arena, Holland

This really is one of the greater designed stadiums in the world and its pretty much officially one of the safest with a UEFA 5 star rating. I know this stadium very well as I travelled to Holland to attended two very hardcore rave events right here in the summer of 2004 and 2005 called Sensation Black, they also do Sensation White every year but it's more commercial trance as opposed to the much harder genre Dutch Hardstyle of Sensation Black I was used to and loved at the time. Sensation Black back in 2004 was Dutch Hardstyle at its finest and I am glad I witnessed some ground breaking DJ's in this beetle looking arena.

The Amsterdam Arena has a monorail connecting this glorious stadium with central Amsterdam for easy traveling options. Amsterdam in general is such a great cultural and pedestrian city with many artistic delights. Ask anybody who has ever been to Amsterdam if they had a bad time and i would wager they had a great time. With four huge entrances into the Amsterdam Arena at every corner of the pitch any prop of pretty much any size could be driven into the arena. The glass roof offers great protection from the elements and a static picture of the stadium from any angle looks like a scene from a carnival. Amsterdam is a great location and has as a great stadium to back it up. 70,000 could easily snug it up in here. If Wrestlemania was exported across the pond this would be a realistic location.

Number 6
Maracanã - Rio de Janeiro. Brazil.

The Maracana was built for the 1950 World Cup. Sitting in Brazil in the southern hemisphere the Maracana stadium is one of the largest stadiums in the world. In 1954 over 183,513 people flooded the stadium to watch Brazil v Paraguay one of many times this stadium has pulled in 120,000+ spectators in the past for a football match. This stadium is under renovations to bring the capacity to 103,000 in line with the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. A major location for a future Wrestlemania if they decided to go south after 2014. The time difference wouldn't be so much of a issue here for most North Americans but a high level of crime might be deterring for most people. It also could be very hard to fill due to its sheer size. It is expected to be air conditioned with the upgrade which would help with the climate in April.

I was considering the Mexican stadium Estadio Azteca (The Aztec) for inclusion within this list but after a lot of thought I still went with the Brazilian Maracanã Stadium simply because its due to host the World Cup and the Olympics over the next decade so will be due a swish upgrade or two to this very historic stadium.

Number 5
Saitama Super Arena. Saitama City, Japan.

A monster indoor Arena located in Saitama City in Japan. The Super Arena can accommodate a whopping 37,000 people which is a huge amount for any indoor arena anywhere in the world to boast. Japan has been a prime location for wrestlers and wrestling fans in the past with many wrestlers learning the trade and putting in the hours at various locations all over Japan. Unlike many indoor venues around the world the Super Stadium has plenty of squared metre of floor space to increase the capacity. Opened in 2000 this Arena can hold many sports and even held a RAW live show which included Flair vs HBK back in 2005. Japan is a expensive place to book a vacation or holiday and the time difference is still huge to North Americans but this Arena is very awesome and even though Wrestlemania will never be held here it's worth its inclusion in my blog list at number 5.

Number 4
o2 Arena - London

Stadium number 2 from London in my list (yes I'm biased).
Considered at the time of building as a massive tax burden and nightmare to the UK public the major New Labour monument to the new Millennium was called the Millennium Dome. Sitting on the South Bank of the Thames to the east of central London. 11 years on this still sticks out on the London horizon like a giant white hedgehog but the indoor arena buried deep inside the white hedgehog thrives on to this very day. Having held WWE, UFC, NBA events in the past The o2 would have no problem accommodating Wrestlemania and the London weather in April wouldn't be a problem either for this indoor arena. The only problem would be the attendance which at 20,000 maximum is paltry for a Wrestlemania. It comes in at number 4 because it has been named as the World's best Venue by Pollstar in 2009 and I know it has acres of surrounding space which engulfs the o2 Arena like a moat. The entire Wrestlemania experience and HOF could easily be held in the same location all week in a legit location such as London.

Number 3
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Madrid, Spain.

Be it a World Cup or European Cup Final (3 times) this place has seen it all and done it all. One of the most famous Stadiums in the world sitting in the heart of Spain this legendary club stadium is a mecca for hardcore football fans who visit this stadium from all over the world. At 81,000 seated capacity the Bernabeu could easily accommodate 100,000+ for Wrestlemania. Madrid is another southern European City which enjoys hot weather in April with very little rain on record in the past for Wrestlemania month. Madrid is also a fine city with many things to see and do. Madrid has some of the finest architecture anywhere on this planet and bars and restaurants everywhere. For a capital city Madrid isn't as expensive as one would think.

 Number 2
Nou Camp - Barcelona, Spain

The Camp Nou (or 'Nou Camp' as the English have butchered/renamed it over the years) Built in 1957 this colossal sun catching stadium has been the home to FC Barcelona since. With 99,354 seats this is the biggest Stadium in Europe and a tourist attraction in its on right. The nosebleed seats really are nosebleed seats here with one end of the stadium reaching for the sky.
Barcelona is a tourist city with plenty of history and like Madrid has plenty to see and do. France would make a ideal day trip due to the short distance to the border. Weather is similar to Madrid and in April it would be very warm. 

Number 1
Wembley Stadium - London, England.  

Arguably one of the finest Stadiums in the World. The (new) Wembley Stadium sits on the location where the famous old Stadium sat before it was tore down in 2003. Built in 2007 and located about 8 miles North West of the City of London this multi purpose venue has hosted everything from F.A Cup Finals to NFL league games. Still called 'The Home of Football' even though the old and more famous Stadium is generally accepted as the 'real' home of Football. At 90,000 seats this is the 2nd largest Stadium in Europe but in terms of floorspace this Stadium breaks all the rules, even the seat legroom is bigger than any stadium in the world.

There is a trade off with my list in terms of where Wrestlemania should be held as Wembley Stadium is concerned. It can be exposed to the usually cold April weather even though part of the roof can partially extend to give some protection but on the positive side Wembley has a World record of 2,618 toilets inside, perfect views in any seat and a towering piece of articular construction the Wembley Arch which looks over the Stadium.The archway is the world's longest unsupported roof structure and would be a great backdrop for Wrestlemania.

Hosting a future Wrestlemania would be a second nature for Wembley. 110,000 fans easily could attend and knowing the British wrestling fans it would be a sell out.

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