New Orleans’ Headlock On $100M+ Main Event
Wrestling has come a long way since Captain Lou Albano sported rubber band facial piercings and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes was a household name.
Today it’s a billion-dollar business, and New Orleans is securing a clawhold when World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) A-Team comes to New Orleans for a week-long celebration this April. Main event WrestleMania 34 takes place Sunday, April 8, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and will stream live on the WWE Network.
WWE reports WrestleMania Week has generated more than $1 billion in cumulative economic impact for the cities that have hosted the event over the past 11 years.
A recent Enigma Research Corporation report found WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida, generated $181.5 million in direct, indirect and induced visitor spending in the region last April. It marks the sixth consecutive year that WrestleMania generated more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region.
The report also states 79 percent of fans that attended WrestleMania 33 came from outside Orlando and stayed in town an average of more than five nights; $24.8 million was spent on Orlando hotels and accommodations; $9.3 million was spent by visitors to Orlando at area restaurants; and the economic impact derived from WrestleMania Week was equal to the creation of 1,730 full-time jobs for the area.
WWE found the event also generated approximately $22.7 million in federal, state and local taxes.
“The week-long series of events boosted our economy by bringing guests to our restaurants, shops and hotels, and also benefited our city through community outreach initiatives,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
A capacity crowd of 75,167 WWE fans filled the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in 2014 for WrestleMania 30. That was the year The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak famously came to an end at the hands of Brock Lesnar, and Daniel Bryan defeated Batista and Randy Orton in a triple threat main event to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, WWE reports.
According to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, the 2014 event brought more than $142 million to New Orleans.
New Orleans’ tableau of WrestleMania 34 events kicked off Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, when the official “On-Sale Party” took place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and featured WWE Superstar appearances by Charlotte Flair, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Mark Henry, Mickie James, Rhyno, Heath Slater and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, as well as WWE announcers Dasha Fuentes, Cathy Kelly and Renee Young. There were live in-ring matches and an exclusive opportunity for fans to purchase their WrestleMania 34 tickets in-person before they became available to the general public.
The signature festivities continue on Friday, April 6, when audience members join WWE Superstars and Legends as Goldberg, one of the fastest-rising Superstars in sports entertainment history, will be enshrined into the WWE Hall of Fame at the Smoothie King Center, at 6:30 p.m.
Goldberg made his WCW debut in September 1997 and went on to an undefeated streak of 173-0. Goldberg held the WCW Championship, WCW United States Championship and WCW Tag Team Championship. Making his WWE debut in 2003, Goldberg became a World Heavyweight Champion before stepping away from the ring in 2004. Goldberg returned to WWE for the 2016 Survivor Series and defeated Brock Lesnar in less than two minutes. He rode that momentum to Fastlane where he defeated Kevin Owens to win the WWE Universal Championship.
“Goldberg’s unique athleticism, persona and intensity captured the imagination of sports entertainment fans around the world throughout his illustrious career,” said Paul Levesque, WWE executive vice president, Talent, Live Events and Creative. “We are honored to have Goldberg take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Tickets to the induction ceremony go on sale tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 19, at the Smoothie King Center and at Ticketmaster, at 10:00 a.m.
Previous WWE Hall of Fame inductees include Kurt Angle, Steve Austin, Snoop Dogg, Edge, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Bret Hart, Jerry Lawler, Lita, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Diamond Dallas Page, Beth Phoenix, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sting, Booker T, Mike Tyson and Ultimate Warrior.
On Saturday, April 7, the beat down continues as WWE NXT Takeover New Orleans starts at the Smoothie King Center at 6:15 p.m.
WWE WrestleMania 34 busts open at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, April 8 at 4:30 p.m.
On Monday, April 9, WWE Raw New Orleans is back at the Smoothie King Center and will feature Superstars Kurt Angle, Finn Balor, Alexa Bliss, Casaro, Kane, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Sheamus and Braun Strowman.
WWE’s curtain call on Tuesday, April 10, showcases the WWE Smackdown New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center and hosts Superstars Baron Corbin, Charlotte Flair, Jinder Mahal, Natalya, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso and Sami Zayn.
Last April, WrestleMania 33 generated an $181.5 million economic impact in Orlando, Florida.