WrestleMania has grown tremendously since the first edition over 30 years. As professional wrestling moved into the mainstream it became primetime viewing not only for Americans, but for people around the world. Hence, when the wrestling world came together for the annual WrestleMania showpiece, crowds went through the roof. Here are the cities which have attracted the biggest WrestleMania crowds.
The very first WrestleMania took place at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1985. The event brought in over 19,000 fans, who came to see Hulk Hogan, Mr. T and Jimmy Snuka take on Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.
The biggest WrestleMania crowds
After smaller crowds turned up to the three events which made WrestleMania 2, the third edition in Detroit drew a total of 93,173 people – a number which still stands as the most at any single WrestleMania. The Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit – which is now permanently closed – used to host the Detroit Lions NFL team and in 1987, made history with their WrestleMania crowd. In the main event, Hulk Hogan defended his WWF Championship against Andre the Giant.
Detroit has also attracted the third-largest WrestleMania audience ever. In 2007, the 23rd edition took place at Ford Field and over 80,000 filled the stadium to see the Undertaker extend his unbeaten WrestleMania streak with victory over Batista. Also on the card was Shawn Michaels match for the WWE Championship against John Cena, which the latter won by submission. Real estate billionaire Donald Trump had a role at the event as well with a hair match against Vince McMahon. Bobby Lashley fought for Trump and Umaga battled for McMahon. Lashley was the eventual victor and McMahon’s head was shaved in the ring.
WrestleMania has also been held in Canada twice – both times at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The home of Blue Jays baseball has attracted two of the bigger WrestleMania crowds in history, with 67,678 and 68,237 cramming in for the sixth and 18th editions. The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan headlined the former, while Triple H and Chris Jericho took centre-stage in the latter.
Many of the earlier WrestleMania crowds were much smaller since much smaller arenas were used. In more recent years, WWE has looked to maximize the potential of the event, and therefore every WrestleMania since 2007 has had an attendance over 70,000. The 2015 show took place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, where 76,976 turned up to watch Seth Rollins snatch the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat match. This was the sixth WrestleMania to have been held in California.
Other huge WrestleMania crowds include the 2013 event at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, which attracted more than 80,000. WrestleMania 24 was held outside at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, and 74,635 people saw the Undertaker beat Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship, and improve his record at the pay-per-view to 16-0.
Where to next?
The next WrestleMania is scheduled to take place at the AT&T Centre in Arlington, Texas. As they say, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” so expect another whopping huge crowd in the Lone Star State.