The coronavirus has forced a delay in Mattel products coming from China, according to Ringside Collectibles. It was announced today that the following figures are delayed to the outbreak in China:
* WWE Elite 76 (re-scheduled for mid May)
* WWE Series 107 (re-scheduled for late April)
* The Undertaker vs. Kane Exclusive (Back-order, re-scheduled for late May)
* WWE Battle Packs 64 (Back-order, re-scheduled for early May)
On a related, two major events in the United States have been canceled or altered due to the coronavirus spreading - SXSW (South By Southwest) and The Arnold Classic.
SXSW was scheduled to run from March 13 through March 22, but it was announced today that the event is canceled for the first time in its 34 year history after the city of Austin, Texas declared a local disaster due to concerns over the virus. The decision was made to cancel the event after several major organizations and companies backed out of the festival, along with a Change.org petition signed by thousands of people calling for the cancellation. Companies that backed out before the announcement included Facebook, Twitter, Intel, Amazon Studios, Netflix, Apple, WarnerMedia, and others. Individual artists and participants had also backed out due to concerns over the virus. You can visit KVUE to read more about the SXSW cancellation and the coronavirus.
The Arnold Sports Festival will not allow spectators this year due to the coronavirus, a first in the more than 30 years that the event has ran. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine decided that spectators will not be allowed at the competition, and the annual trade shot is being canceled due to coronavirus concerns. More than 200,000 people were expected to visit the event in Columbus, Ohio. Athletes from China, Japan, Iran, Italy and South Korea will not be allowed to compete in the event. You can visit The Columbus Dispatch to read more about the festival and the coronavirus.
WWE Hall of Famer Arnold Schwarzenegger, the host of the event, announced the changes on Twitter today, as seen below.
"It's a sad day for me and everyone at the @ArnoldSports team. But we will always put our fans' health first. After discussions with @GovMikeDeWine, @MayorGinther, and the CDC, we will be postponing the expo because we can't risk bringing 250,000 people together with #COVID19," Arnold wrote.
Several Japanese promotions, including New Japan Pro Wrestling, have canceled events or altered their plans due to the coronavirus. WWE issued a statement to ESPN earlier this week and said they plan to move forward with WrestleMania 36 Week in Tampa, despite the coronavirus cases that have been confirmed in that area. The statement read like this:
"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."
WWE officials held a meeting before this week's RAW to discuss the virus with the roster, and inform them of what they can do to avoid it while traveling on the road.
Stay tuned for updates on WWE's WrestleMania 36 Week plans and the coronavirus.
It's a sad day for me and everyone at the @ArnoldSports team. But we will always put our fans' health first. After discussions with @GovMikeDeWine, @MayorGinther, and the CDC, we will be postponing the expo because we can't risk bringing 250,000 people together with #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/Fuzcmapxiy— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 3, 2020