April 18, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

WWE WrestleMania L.A. at SoFi Stadium gets a new date: 2023


WrestleMania is coming to SoFi Stadium in 2023, the latest entry on Southern California’s post-pandemic entertainment calendar.

WWE previously announced plans to stage its signature event at SoFi this March, but fans are not yet allowed at sports and entertainment events in California. On Saturday, WWE announced a revised WrestleMania schedule: Tampa from April 10-11; Arlington, Texas, in 2022; and Inglewood in 2023.

The Tampa show is set for Raymond James Stadium, over two nights rather than the traditional one, with “limited capacity,” said John Saboor, WWE executive vice president of special events. The NFL is scheduled to play the Super Bowl in the same stadium Feb. 7, also with limited capacity.

The SoFi event is set for April 2, 2023, with a fan festival starting March 30 and cards for other WWE brands — Smackdown, NXT and Raw — expected to be staged March 31, April 1 and April 3 at Staples Center. WWE held WrestleMania at Staples in 2005, two years before the event moved from arenas to stadiums.

“The heritage that we share with Staples is an important part of WWE’s DNA,” Saboor said.

The decision for SoFi to pursue the 2023 date “came down to our calendar,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. SoFi is set to play host to the 2022 Super Bowl and, he said, the venue had more flexibility in its 2023 schedule. Major League Baseball also awarded the 2022 All-Star Game to Dodger Stadium, with the 2020 game lost to the pandemic.

What could have been a glorious opening year for SoFi also has been lost to the pandemic. The Rams and Chargers played without fans. The inaugural LA Bowl college football game was canceled, and concerts by Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Guns N’ Roses, Kenny Chesney and Motley Crue were called off.

The Chesney and Motley Crue concerts already have rescheduled dates later this year. The hope is for the Rams, Chargers and LA Bowl to be played in front of fans in 2021, with the Super Bowl in 2022 and WrestleMania and college football’s championship game in 2023.

“We’re going to work every day to make sure this venue is filled for the people of Los Angeles,” Gannon said.