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9 venues that should host WrestleMania
WrestleMania is a global phenomenon unlike any other. Each year, while millions of members of the WWE Universe tune in on pay-per-view, tens of thousands descend on a new location each year to experience the action and pageantry first-hand. That includes March 29 of this year, when WrestleMania comes to Levi's Stadium. It also now includes Texas Stadium, home of next year's WrestleMania.
With the momentous announcement of The Show of Shows' location next year, WWE.com looks at 9 other locations around the globe that — based on capacity, history and design — would be ideal candidates to host The Grandest Stage of Them All in the future.
Yankee Stadium — Bronx, N.Y.
The original Yankee Stadium (pictured above) was one of the most celebrated venues in all of sports thanks to legendary New York Yankees sluggers such as Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. The stadium also hosted concerts, football games and boxing matches — but never a WWE event, or any major sports-entertainment contest. Of course, the original stadium was demolished and replaced in 2009, but the new stadium once again plays host to various events as well as being home to the Yankees.
Although WrestleMania 29 was held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the rich history of the Yankees makes the new stadium a perfect home for a future WrestleMania. Although MetLife Stadium’s capacity is ultimately greater than the home of the Bronx Bombers, there would be no greater New York–style WrestleMania moment than two Superstars brawling inside the Yankees Museum, or in front of George Steinbrenner’s plaque inside Monument Park.
Beijing National Stadium — Beijing, China
In 2010, WWE’s first journey to China drew thousands of new members of the WWE Universe, all descending upon Expo 2010 Shanghai to see their favorite WWE Superstars and Divas in action. Given the enormous acclaim and warm reception WWE received, hosting WrestleMania at the hub of the 2008 Olympic Games — Beijing National Stadium — would be a major international event.
Also known as “The Bird’s Nest,” the Olympic venue has the capacity to hold more than 100,000 fans. Considering the success of the 2008 Olympics, the history of the stadium — constructed that same year — is already rich with culture and tradition. The stadium is also part of Beijing’s Olympic Green, constructed to house the events surrounding the 2008 Games, which would also create a prime location for WrestleMania Axxess and the WWE Hall of Fame.
Kaohsiung Stadium — Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Since The Show of Shows is one of the most unique events in all of sports and entertainment, it’s only fitting that it should potentially take place at one of the most unique venues in the world. Host of the 2009 World Games, Kaohsiung Stadium has a capacity of 55,000 and is located in Taiwan’s culture-rich city, but its unusual design is arguably its most attractive feature.
The dragon-shaped stadium’s roof is lined with hundreds of solar panels, making it the first venue in the world to use the sun’s power for the majority of its functions. Although the stadium played host to international soccer games and concerts, the innovative design and concept behind the venue could only be matched by an event as extraordinary as WrestleMania.
Michigan Stadium — Ann Arbor, Mich.
One of the most revered stadiums in all of college football, the home of the University of Michigan Wolverines certainly lives up to its moniker, “The Big House.” With an official capacity of 109,901, Michigan Stadium is the largest outdoor stadium in the United States and third-largest in the world, making it an ideal host for WrestleMania and the WWE Universe.
In addition to being the home to the university’s storied football program, the massive complex hosts the institute’s commencement ceremonies, and has housed outdoor hockey games. “The Big House” also holds an NCAA attendance record of 115,109 during the September 2013 battle between Michigan and Notre Dame. Expanding the capacity onto the field area to surround the ring on The Grandest Stage of Them All would undoubtedly shatter that record, and create an unrivaled atmosphere of electricity. Not to mention, “WrestleMania in The Big House” is a great slogan.
Azadi Stadium — Tehran, Iran
Iran is a major hub for international sports in Western Asia and is the birthplace of WWE Hall of Famer and former WWE Champion The Iron Sheik. The country’s national sports venue — Azadi Stadium, part of the larger Azadi Sports Complex that’s located just outside of Tehran — would be an excellent location for not only WrestleMania, but also the events surrounding The Grandest Stage of Them All, including Axxess and the Hall of Fame.
Capable of housing nearly 85,000 members of the WWE Universe with ease, thousands more would be able to witness WrestleMania with seating expanded to the playing field. In addition, 2005 saw the installation of one the world’s largest screens; measuring more than 3,000 square feet, it would offer an optimum viewing experience for those in attendance.
Perhaps the stadium’s most famous feature is the noise level created by the excitement that permeates inside its walls. It’s been said the massive crowds that cheer on their favorite teams have intimidated opponents — surely a potential detriment to any Superstar unlucky enough to not have the Iranian contingent of the WWE Universe on his side.
Tokyo Dome — Tokyo, Japan
Japan’s Tokyo Dome has a rich history of hosting sports-entertainment events, playing host to New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s biggest annual event every January. The venue has also accommodated just about every major sport in the world, including baseball, American football, mixed martial arts and even monster trucks. Furthermore, the connection to professional wrestling runs deeper than just New Japan — the Tokyo Dome held the 1991, 1992 and 1993 WCW/New Japan Supershows.
Each of the WCW/New Japan events filled the Tokyo Dome with more than 60,000 fans watching cross-promotional matches, including one of the legendary bouts between Sting and The Great Muta, as well as Tatsumi Fujinami defeating Ric Flair for the NWA Heavyweight Championship. Given the capacity and history of the Tokyo Dome, no event may be more fitting — or capable of smashing attendance records — for the venue than WrestleMania.
FNB Stadium — Johannesburg, South Africa
First National Bank Stadium — also known as “Soccer City” — is a massive venue located in Johannesburg with the ability to hold 94,736 members of the WWE Universe. The largest stadium on the African continent, Soccer City’s prime location in the center of South Africa’s most populous metropolis could potentially attract a WrestleMania audience stretching well more than 100,000 fans.
The stadium is a major global venue, hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup and concerts featuring some of the biggest musical acts in the world, including U2 and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. However, WrestleMania would definitively establish Soccer City as one of the most popular stadiums in the world. The timing also couldn’t be better, as South Africa is beginning to establish its sports-entertainment roots with WWE Superstars such as Justin Gabriel and NXT star Leo Kruger.
Notre Dame Stadium — South Bend, Ind.
WrestleMania is one of the most storied and popular events in history, where legends are born and Hall of Fame careers are solidified. Given the history and tradition of The Showcase of the Immortals, there may be no greater host to match the tradition and pageantry of The Show of Shows than the hallowed grounds of Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.
Located on the University of Notre Dame campus, the home of the storied Fighting Irish football team is no stranger to hosting legendary performances and an aura of uncanny spirit within its walls. In addition to seven Heisman Trophy winners, the legends of quarterbacks Joe Montana and Joe Theisman were born inside “the house that Knute Rockne built.” Each week during the college football season, more than 80,000 fans fill the stadium, a feat that could only be outdone by WrestleMania.
New Wembley Stadium — London, England
The most famous venue in Great Britain — London’s Wembley Stadium — was host to SummerSlam 1992, setting the second-highest attendance record for a WWE event at 80,355. However, the original Wembley Stadium was closed in 2000 and demolished in 2003, making way for New Wembley Stadium in its place — a perfect host for The Show of Shows.
The new stadium is built on the site of the original, maintaining the rich history of the location that is home to the national stadium of England. Since its construction in 2007, the venue has held numerous soccer and NFL games, and has the ability to hold in excess of 100,000 members of the WWE Universe. Given the record attendance at SummerSlam in the original Wembley, it’s not hard to imagine fans from all over the world descending upon London to see WrestleMania and set new records, all while enjoying one of the world’s finest cities.