It's long been rumored that University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale's in the running to host WrestleMania, Vince McMahon's annual Super Bowl of rasslin'.
Now it looks like the rumors are about to come true.
We received an e-mail stating that World Wrestling Entertainment will be holding a press conference tomorrow afternoon at the stadium to announce a "major international event" occuring there in spring 2010 that will "draw visitors from around the world for five days of activities."
Although the e-mail doesn't specifically identify the event (and only names the WWE in the subject line), we've gotta think it's next year's Wrestlemania 26. After all, the yearly grappling extravaganza and pay-per-view is the only such event that the WWE puts on during the spring. A similar press conference is held every year around this time announcing where WrestleMania is heading next.
If we're correct, the news should delight pro wrestling fans across the Valley, as 'Mania has been the biggest event in "sports entertainment" since debuting in 1985. And while the matches might be fake, the economic impact isn't. More than 74,000 fans flocked to last year's WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando, pumping $51.5 million into the city's economy.
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It's no secret that U of P Stadium officials have been lobbying to bring the event to Glendale. An Arizona Republic article in January 2008 detailed how the representatives from Global Spectrum, the Philadelphia-based company that operates the stadium, were "in talks" with the WWE concerning Wrestlemania. David Cox, spokesman for Global Spectrum, declined to comment on the matter, despite the fact that his co-worker Scott Norton was quoted in the Republic article.
Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky was photographed at the Westgate Center adjacent to the stadium by Swedish newspaper Expressen in December 2007 wearing a black T-shirt with "Wrestlemania 2010" and "Destruction in the Desert" printed on it.
Besides Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs and officials from the Arizona Cardinals, we're expecting McMahon to attend the press conference, scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. But whether or not the pumped-up WWE owner will nail her honor with a steel chair remains to be seen.