For the second time in less than a decade, Orlando is king of the ring in the fight for WrestleMania.
Ahead of this year’s mega-event at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, World Wrestling Entertainment announced in March that WrestleMania is returning to the revamped Orlando Citrus Bowl in 2017, bringing with it an estimated $100 million to the region.
Brent Nelson, Central Florida Sports Commission’s senior vice president of business development, hopes the second Orlando-WrestleMania pairing is the start a longtime engagement.
“We would love to be eventually on a rotation with the WWE,” Nelson says of bringing back WrestleMania. “If that meant every four or five years, we would love for them to consider that.”
The battle royal for WrestleMania 33 in 2017 was considerably more competitive than the 2008 event also in Orlando, Nelson reports.
Winning it required tag teaming by the sports commission and officials from the city of Orlando, Orange County and the venues involved for the weeklong festivities, he says. But it’s no secret that the linchpin was a more than $200 million renovation of the Citrus Bowl.
“Essentially, they blew up the lower bowl of the Citrus Bowl and started from scratch,” says Nelson. “For all intents and purposes, it is a new venue.”