Of all the major events scheduled for the new $5-billion SoFi Stadium over the next eight years — Super Bowl, College Football Playoff national championship game, Olympics — the one event Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. continually heard about from residents was not on his calendar.
“Many people are more excited about us hosting WrestleMania than the Olympics,” Butts said. “I was surprised at how popular the WWE [is].”
The WWE will hold a news conference Tuesday at SoFi Stadium to announce what many of Butts’ constituents have been hoping to hear since construction started in 2016 on the future home of the Rams and Chargers — WrestleMania is returning to Los Angeles.
WrestleMania 37 will be held at SoFi Stadium on March 28, 2021. Los Angeles hosted two of the first seven WrestleManias at the Sports Arena but has not hosted one since WrestleMania 21 in 2005 at Staples Center.
WrestleMania is regularly ranked near the top of Forbes’ “Fab 40” list of the world’s most valuable sports brands, behind the Super Bowl, Olympics, World Cup and NCAA Final Four.
This year’s WrestleMania is at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and will be the 14th consecutive WrestleMania held at a football stadium that holds at least 70,000 fans.
Tampa will host WrestleMania 36 in April, 10 months before hosting Super Bowl LV, and Inglewood will host its WrestleMania 10 months before hosting Super Bowl LVI. City and stadium officials have talked about using the event as a test run for the Super Bowl.
WrestleMania is a weeklong event, much like the Super Bowl, that attracts fans from around the world. The WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Thursday, followed by “Friday Night SmackDown” and “NXT TakeOver” on Saturday at Staples Center. “Monday Night Raw” at Staples Center will conclude the festivities. WrestleMania Axxess, WWE’s interactive fan festival, will be held next door at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the WWE will host more than a dozen community outreach events during WrestleMania week.
“This is a great way for our city to show how we are going to be hosting these major events in the future with two areas of influence with downtown around L.A. Live and Staples Center as well as SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in Inglewood,” said Kathy Schloessman, president of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission. “Our pitch on all of our events from the Super Bowl to WrestleMania is having a two-hub hosting area with Inglewood and downtown, and we’ll see that for the first time at WrestleMania.”
Over the last 13 years, WrestleMania has generated more than $1.3 billion in cumulative economic impact for the cities that have hosted the event. Last year’s WrestleMania was held at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said the event generated $165.4 million in economic impact for the New York/New Jersey region.
“So many of the organizations that came together to attract WrestleMania 37 to Los Angeles were the same ones that worked to bring the Super Bowl to Los Angeles,” said John Saboor, WWE executive vice president of special events. “We now regularly host WrestleMania at venues that either hosted the Super Bowl a year or so prior or after and it’s a wonderful opportunity for those regions to build blue prints that they can use for hosting major events such as WrestleMania and the Super Bowl.”
SoFi Stadium, which is more than 85% complete, is scheduled to open July 25-26 with back-to-back Taylor Swift concerts. The stadium will have a seating capacity of 70,000 for football games but can be expanded to 100,000, which is being considered for WrestleMania. The largest announced attendance for WrestleMania was 101,763 at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in 2016. Tickets for WrestleMania 37 are expected to go on sale this fall.
“When we thought about this building and the vision Stan Kroenke had for it, we thought about hosting events like WrestleMania, the Olympics, Super Bowl and College Football Playoff national championship,” said Jason Gannon, managing director for SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “We want those events to happen here on a frequent basis starting with WrestleMania 37 at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.”