WM or SS PPV in UK?
It has been reported recently that WWE officials are looking at overseas stadia to host a major PPV event in the future. Seemingly impressed with the crowds they got in the recent UK tour, it looks like this is going to be the most likely destination. With this in mind I thought I would evaluate the most likely candidates;
Home to – The F.A. & the England Football Team
Capacity – 90,000 (105,000 with standing)
This was the last British stadium to host a PPV outside of North America as it hosted Summerslam 1992. Of course this is a very different stadium nowadays as the stadium was torn down in 2003 and rebuilt on the same plot of the land as the old incarnation of the stadium.Given that WWE like the tradition of returning to arenas where they know they can and have had success in the past is something that must make this stadium the favourite.
Opened eventually in 2007, it actually began hosting music concerts rather than football matches as the F.A. Were desperate to pay as much the staggering £798million price tag off as quickly possible, they are still doing so they probably be open to any of WWE’s interest. The busiest time for the stadium will be mid-late July as it hosts Play-Off mates and FA Cup Final ties here but that should avoid the usual time-slots of Summerslam and Wrestlemania.
The stadium has a partially retractable roof to try and keep the pitch in sunlight for as long as possible, which is a slight setback as Britain tends pretty unpredictable summers.
What will definitely appeal to WWE officials is its potential 105,000 capacity with added seating over the pitch. WWE always likes to go somewhere they can break a record there is definitely scope to achieve a new record here.
There would certainly be a lot of prestige to be gained here for any PPV as this stadium is so highly regarded by football fans as being the ‘Home of Football’ and having the first wrestling event at this venue will probably be something that would attract WWE.
As you would expect with heavily populated city like London there are plenty of transport options available through trains, buses and the London Underground.
Home to – Welsh Rugby Union, Welsh Football Team
Capacity – 74,500
Opened in 1999, in Cardiff, Wales, it is another stadium that has been used as a multi-event stadum having hosted speedway, show-jumping and music concerts for the likes of U2, The Rolling Stones and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Most notably though it has hosted boxing matches, which considering their similar requirements e.g. ring-wise and seating plans, would give the stadium the edge as it has a good reputation for being able to host events of this variety.
Another attraction to this stadium for WWE officials is most likely to be its fully retractable roof, which only takes 20 minutes to open and close. This will be a lifesaver if the weather turns sour at the last minute.
I’ve been to this stadium myself, and despite the large capacity it is a surprisingly small stadium when you get inside it. So I think that even those the cheap seats will have a very good view from the rafters here.
Home to – Manchester United F.C.
Capacity – 76,765
Although its not the prettiest or typical choice of venue for a stadium event that WWE usually go for, it certainly has the prestige value as its home the most successful football club in England in recent times.
As its used a lot more than previous stadiums because of the football season it will be unlikely it will be chosen for Wrestlemania as the season is still ongoing around the beginning of April. Furthermore, the football season usually restarts around August, the same time as Summerslam is normally held, so it’s an outside shot that this stadium will be available, let alone chosen.
It doesn’t host many other events, but when it does it either hosts rugby matches or music events with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Rod Stewart performing here before.
This is one the most central stadiums available in the UK which would be a bonus for all travelling fans in Britain as it would obviously lead to reduced travelling for most attending. The stadium also has its own railway station adjacent to it which is ideal for those looking to travel back home straight after the event.
As this is stadium was built in 1910 it does not have a roof and with Manchester having reputation for being one of the wettest places in Britain it may scare off WWE officials.
Just in case your wondering why I didn’t include the Olympic Stadium. It is still undetermined what it’s next use is going to be. Regardless, of whether it goes on to be permanent home for a football team, an athletics stadium or a multi-purpose stadium like the O2 arena, it is likely that the capacity will be greatly reduced below the figures that WWE usually likes to get for a major PPV.