It has hosted the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game, Final Four and College Football Playoff National Championship, and now AT&T Stadium in Arlington is taking on one of the biggest entertainment spectacles in WrestleMania.
The WWE confirmed Tuesday that WrestleMania 32 will happen at AT&T Stadium on Sunday April 3, 2016.
It’s a match made in sports entertainment heaven – the biggest event of the year for one of the most popular organizations in the world at the premiere venue in all of sports.“It’s like sacred ground,” said WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan during a news conference Tuesday. “It’s like going to the stratosphere of sports entertainment. We needed to be here.”
WrestleMania draws tens of thousands and fans and, according to Forbes, brings an estimated $100 million to local economies with much of that going to hotels and restaurants.
“I think there was a lot of mutual admiration, and we both wanted to make sure we could make it the best event ever,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, executive vice president and chief brand officer for the Dallas Cowboys. “I don’t think relative to the other events that we’ve hosted here that we’ve ever seen anything quite like it.”
WWE Superstar John Cena was also on hand for the big announcement. He said he was “awestruck” walking through Jerry World Tuesday, and promised North Texas a show the likes of which it’s never seen.
“This place will be full and very loud,” said Cena. “It gives us a chance to really maximize our production, so the consumer will be treated to the best experience possible.”
That experience extends beyond the walls of the stadium. The week leading up to WrestleMania will feature several events, including “WrestleMania Axxess,” a four-day interactive fan festival at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Downtown Dallas, the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, “Monday Night RAW” at the American Airlines Center, “Be A Star” anti-bullying rallies at local schools and hospital visits to sick children.
“WrestleMania is the greatest single live-event extravaganza in the world today,” said WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. “And if you come here and attend this event, you will agree with me.”
The full slate of events is expected to attract more than 125,000 people to North Texas.
McMahon said he believes the main event at AT&T Stadium will be the highest attended event in the WWE’s storied history. The current record of 93,178 was set back in 1987 during WrestleMania 3 when Hogan famously battled Andre the Giant at the Pontiac Silverdome.
“This is special to me because I have the indoor attendance record,” said Hogan. “As I look at AT&T Stadium, I’m going, 'OK – the WWE is going to break the old indoor attendance record,' which fast forwards me to being a politician and saying, you know, I haven’t had a retirement match yet. And I can’t think of a better place than out here to have it.”
Local leaders certainly welcome the event. An economic impact study found that the most recent WrestleMania in New Orleans generated more than $140 million for its host city. And in terms of exposure, WrestleMania is broadcast live to more than 170 countries.
“I’m one of the few mayors who has a smile on his face perpetually,” said Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck. “This is a big deal.”
The WWE plans to announce information regarding ticket sales this summer.