Report: WWE and AEW Preparing to Run Live Events in Empty Arenas Due to Coronavirus

As the coronavirus continues to spread, many wrestling fans have been curious about how promotions [...]

As the coronavirus continues to spread, many wrestling fans have been curious about how promotions in the United States like WWE and AEW will respond. WrestleMania 36 is scheduled to take place in Tampa next month, but cases of the virus have already been found in the city and the state of Florida is in a state of emergency for public health as a result. One result of the virus outbreak has been the cancellation of major live events like conventions and concerts, and major sports leagues like the NBA are already considering holding games inside empty arenas in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to Dave Meltzer via Wrestling Observer Radio, both WWE and AEW are considering the same option.

"If WrestleMania is canceled, or held in an empty stadium or something like that, everything will be," Meltzer said. "WrestleMania will be the last one. You know it's trouble when we start hearing about NBA and NHL and baseball games being held in empty stadiums. Every team in Major League Baseball, every team in the NBA and every team in the NHL is already preparing for that possibility. It's not like this is an outlandish, crazy thing. This is being talked about in every league, and it's being talked about in WWE and AEW because it has to be. You'd be absolutely negligent to not start formulating plans. Whether you have to use them... we're pretty close. This is not a good situation at all."

Overseas, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced this week that it has canceled all of its live events up through March 22, which would've featured this year's New Japan Cup tournament, due to the disease.

WWE released an official statement regarding the coronavirus last week.

"The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay. We remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, and like other entertainment properties in the U.S., there are currently no plans to cancel or postpone our upcoming events."

Check out the official card for WrestleMania 36 (so far) below. The event will take place on April 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

  • WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre
  • WWE Universal Championship: Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns
  • John Cena vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
  • Raw Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler
  • NXT Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
  • The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles