With fans from more than 60 countries expected to make the trip to the United States for WrestleMania 36 Week in April, WWE officials say they are ready for the global coronavirus epidemic as we get closer to The Grandest Stage of Them All in Tampa, Florida.
The Tampa Bay Times spoke with WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon and WWE Executive Vice President of Special Events John Saboor at the WrestleMania 36 Luncheon held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Thursday, and asked if the company is ready for the coronavirus.
"The health and safety of not only our fan base, but also our superstars, really does come first," Stephanie said. "We don't want to put anyone in a bad situation ever, regardless of the circumstance. Those are not risks worth taking."
Saboor confirmed that the company is monitoring what's going on, and discussing potential plans.
"Given the number of live events that (WWE) does, it's constantly monitoring global events," Saboor said. "There are active and ongoing discussions at play internally, like there are in any sector of American business, and certainly families as a whole. So I think those will continue."
Furthermore, Rob Higgins, the Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, said his group is working with the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority and the Tampa International Airport to ensure the safety of fans in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania 36 Week.
"You've got to be nimble, and you've got to be ready," Higgins said. "Thirty-six days is a long time, so it's hard to predict. I think we just continue to information gather as much as possible, so that we are as prepared as possible."
Stephanie added to that, "And if necessary, enact those measures."
Saboor said WWE is focusing on "refining the blueprint to welcome the world to Tampa Bay."
"We're spending a lot of time in the last 36 days messaging fans who are coming, talking about the attributes of not only what WrestleMania week has to offer, but what Tampa Bay as a destination has to offer," he added.