The NBA and NHL may have canceled the rest of their seasons, but WWE is still grappling with how to continue doing wrestling business in the COVID-19 era.
It has canceled the remainder of its inaugural XFL season, however, saying that it “is committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.”
The Stamford company’s weekly “Friday Night SmackDown” wrestling event, originally scheduled to take place tonight in front of fans at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, will instead be held at the much smaller WWE Performance Center in Orlando with no fans in attendance.
WWE is also still debating the fate of WrestleMania, the organization’s biggest show of the year. The company said it is still committed to holding the event, scheduled for April 5 in Tampa Bay, but that is making contingency plans in case it is canceled by government officials, authorities and/or the venues.
“The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay,” the company said.
Last year’s WrestleMania drew 82,265 and earned WWE $16.9 million, making it the highest-grossing event in the history of New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.
In addition to the NBA and NHL suspending their seasons, MLS has postponed its games for 30 days as of March 12, and the NCAA has canceled its annual “March Madness” tournament. Major League Baseball has cancelled its spring training – its regular season has been pushed back by “at least two weeks” from its original scheduled March 26 start – and NASCAR has said it will hold at least two of its upcoming races without fans.