Following statements made by Tampa city officials on Thursday, WWE released a new statement regarding the possibility of WrestleMania 36 being canceled due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus. The event is scheduled to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on April 5, though the state is currently in a state of emergency due to the virus outbreak, leading its governor to ask that no mass gathering events take place for the next 30 days. The statement read, "While we remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, we are putting contingency plans in place in the event that it is cancelled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues.
"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," the statement continued.
Hillsborough County district commissioner Les Miller said in a press conference early Thursday afternoon that a decision would not be made on their end for a week, unless WWE opted to cancel/postpone/reschedule on their own accord.
"We know that right now WrestleMania is out about three weeks, and we came to the conclusion [that] right now we don't want to pull that plug," "However, we wanted to give it at least a week to see what was going to happen, if the WWE was going to do anything at all. And if that don't, at that point I would suggest we do bring this body back together in an emergency meeting to discuss what we do at that point in time."
The new statement comes less than an hour after WWE confirmed that this week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown would be moved from its original location (Detroit) to the WWE Performance Center down in Orlando. The PC was seen on Wednesday night as the host to this week's NXT.
"Friday Night SmackDown on March 13 will air live as regularly scheduled and emanate from WWE's training facility in Orlando, Florida with only essential personnel in attendance," the staement read. "The event was originally scheduled in Detroit, Michigan."
John Cena, Paige and Jeff Hardy were all originally scheduled to appear on this week's episode, and no word yet on if those plans have been scrapped.