SkyDome, City in talks with WWFE|
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Mayor Mel Lastman and SkyDome owner Jake Geleerd today confirmed they have been
in negotiations with World Wrestling Federation Entertainment to bring
WrestleMania XVIII to the City.
"SkyDome, with help from my office and the City's Special Events department,
have been meeting with the WWFE for over a month about this," Mayor Lastman
said. "Because our talks are on-going, I can't say too much right now - but I
can tell you we are working to return WrestleMania to SkyDome in 2002."
Geleerd said the event set a Canadian attendance record the last time it was
held in Toronto. He predicted it will again in 2002 if SkyDome is chosen as the
"A world-class event like WrestleMania deserves a world-class facility like
SkyDome," Geleerd said, describing WrestleMania as the "Superbowl" of
entertainment events. "If we can convince the WWFE to choose SkyDome despite
the strong U.S. dollar, this will be the entertainment event of the year in
Lastman and Geleerd said they expect WWFE to make a decision either late August
or early September.
Wrestling fans will have lots to cheer for if WrestleMania XVIII returns to
SkyDome in March 2002; besides a chance to meet the stars of the WWF, the event
is expected to attract up to 70,000 fans from 13 countries and pump as much as
$10 million into the local economy.
The event will also showcase Toronto to the world. WWFE programming is seen in
130 different countries and is translated into 13 different languages.
Besides WrestleMania, WWFE produces Raw is War and SmackDown! which have a
combined audience of 13.6 million U.S. viewers each week.