WWE Attempting To Block Independent Wrestling From Tampa Area During Wrestlemania Weekend Next Year
The latest edition of the The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that WWE is attempting to block independent wrestling from coming to the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg in Florida during Wrestlemania 36 weekend next year. This has been rumored over the last week, with Joey Janela previously commenting on it and confirming that next year’s Spring Break show is still happening.
WWE attempted to pull a similar stunt when they had Wrestlemania 31 in San Jose. The Fairgrounds at the time booked several shows but most other buildings like the Civic Auditorium wouldn’t allow for other wrestling, which is why ROH ran a show in Redwood City that year.
Wrestlemania 36 will be held at the Raymond James Stadium and it’s likely that NXT Takeover, RAW and Smackdown will be held at the nearby Amalie Arena. The only other nearby arena is the Yuengling Center on the campus of the University of South Florida (formerly the Sun Dome, the venue of the 1995 Royal Rumble), which seats 10,500. The Vinik Enterprises runs that building and Amalie, so in theory, that could be locked out if WWE convinces them to.
It remains to be seen the independent companies will compensate for WWE attempting to block them this year as they did for past attempts. When WWE ran Wrestlemania 33 in Orlando, ROH ran an event at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, which is 35 miles away from Tampa. That venue only seats 4,000 however, and would be small for a joint show with New Japan. The University Arena CDC Gym in North Tampa holds 600 and could be used for the bigger indies, but WWE uses it regularly for NXT shows. Orlando has many places but is 85 miles away.