Listen up, wrestling fans, we've got some major news: The WWE will stage next year's Royal Rumble here in the Valley. No joke.
The company has announced that the 2019 version of the annual pay-per-view event, one of its largest and most popular of the year, will be coming to downtown Phoenix.
And it’s going to happen at a unique venue: Chase Field.
The 48,519-person capacity baseball stadium, better known as the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, will host Royal Rumble 2019, which will take place on Sunday, January 27, 2019.
What exactly is a Royal Rumble, you ask? In the context of the WWE's storylines, it's a battle royal-style match that's the centerpiece of the event of the same name. Thirty WWE superstars participate each year, and the winner gets a shot at one of the company's two major titles a few months later at WrestleMania.
This will be the eighth time the WWE has held a pay-per-view event in the Valley over the past 15 years. They've previously brought big events like SummerSlam, Elimination Chamber, and Money in the Bank to our city, as well as the biggest event in the WWE, WrestleMania.
Phoenix also hosted a Royal Rumble back in 2013, and it took place at what was then known as U.S. Airways Center and featured The Rock winning his most recent WWE championship.
But this time around, the WWE is planning an even bigger spread for the event, starting with the host venue.
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It will be the first time that the Royal Rumble is staged in a baseball stadium. Previous versions of the event, which been around since 1988, have taken place mostly in arenas. Last year’s Rumble happened at San Antonio’s Alamodome, however, and there was a crowd of over 50,000 people.
The WWE will also reportedly put on four straight nights of events in downtown Phoenix when it brings the Rumble to town in 2019.
In addition to the pay-per-view itself, the WWE will stage an NXT Takeover event at Talking Stick Resort Arena the night before on Saturday, January 28, as well as episodes of Raw and SmackDown at the same venue on Monday, January 30, and Tuesday, January 31, respectively.
In other words, local fans of the WWE and pro wrestling are going to be pretty busy that weekend.