NEW ORLEANS — It's official: WrestleMania XXX will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, April 6, 2014, as confirmed by New Orleans, top WWE officials and a host of WWE Superstars in an all-star press conference live-streamed on WWE.com, the WWE App, WWE's Facebook page, and YouTube.com/WWE.
“We are happy to announce that New Orleans will host WWE’s premiere event, WrestleMania XXX, right here in the dome on April 6, 2014,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at the conference, which took place at the Superdome itself. “This is just an unbelievable experience for us. WWE and New Orleans are going to be a perfect match. We are a perfect city for sports-entertainment; I don’t think anybody does it better than us.”
Joining Mayor Landrieu at the Superdome for the historic announcement were WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon, WWE COO Triple H, Executive Vice President of Creative Stephanie McMahon and a cavalcade of Superstars, including WWE Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, John Cena, Big Show, Mark Henry, The Great Khali, Brodus Clay and WWE Divas Layla, Cameron and Naomi.
“WrestleMania is a celebration; it’s what we do,” said Mr. McMahon. “People from all over the world come to New Orleans and they’re going to celebrate the grandeur, the spectacular nature of WrestleMania … that’s what WrestleMania is, and there’s no town in the world that personifies celebration more than New Orleans.”
Also taking part in the press conference were Rita Benson Leblanc, New Orleans Saints owner and vice chairman; Stephen Perry, President of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau; Jay Cicero, CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation; and Alan Freeman, general manager of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and New Orleans Arena.
“WWE is all about bringing smiles to people’s faces the world over,” said Stephanie McMahon, speaking moments after her father took the podium. “And that is what we’re going to do right here in the city of New Orleans, because we are going to have one heck of a party 30 years in the making.”
WWE Champion The Rock also spoke on the significance of WrestleMania week, calling it an “unduplicated” experience for the host city. “The bottom line is, it’s fun,” said The Great One, grinning from ear to ear, “and I am so, so proud to bring WrestleMania to New Orleans.” He then led the assembled members of the media in a chorus of “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
John Cena, who will challenge Rock for the WWE Title at WrestleMania 29 in East Rutherford, N.J. in just a few weeks’ time, echoed his opponent’s sentiments.
“[WrestleMania] will give people around the world the chance to enjoy the hospitality I have enjoyed,” said the 10-time WWE Champion. “Every tourist who comes to New Orleans always leaves with a story about New Orleans.”
“I promise you when WrestleMania XXX comes to New Orleans, we will give you a celebration worthy of this great city.”
Aside from WrestleMania XXX itself, the festivities in New Orleans will include WrestleMania Axxess, the annual, four-day fan festival, taking place at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Monday Night Raw, be a STAR anti-bullying rallies, the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Finals, hospital visits and other pro-social activities designed to give back to the community. The pay-per-view event will be televised to more than 100 countries. Last year, WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami generated more than $100 million in economic impact for Miami and Miami-Dade County, a new record for WrestleMania. This year, WrestleMania 29 takes place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday, April 7.
Ultimately, though and perhaps rather fittingly, it was Mr. McMahon who gave the perfect summation of his signature creation’s 30th birthday, with a bit of local flavor to boot.
“I believe there’s an expression you use here in New Orleans,” said Mr. McMahon at the conclusion of his remarks. “I will not attempt to say it in French, but: let the good times roll.”