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Miami to host WrestleMania 28
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling


The logo for WrestleMania 28. Courtesy WWE.com.

Miami's gain is Toronto's loss with Wednesday's announcement that WrestleMania 28 will be held at Miami's Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, April 1, 2012.

The Ontario capital had been in the running to host a third WrestleMania, at the Rogers Centre, instead losing out to Miami, which will host its first, just three years after WrestleMania 25 was held in Orlando.

World Wrestling Entertainment made the announcement at a press conference at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. It's a joint venture between WWE, the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, Miami-Dade County itself, the NFL's Miami Dolphins, and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"Miami has always been the home of first class events, and this event will add to that legacy," said Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Miami-Dade County Commissioner and Chairman of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission in a press release. "Hosting WrestleMania is a huge coup for Miami."

"On behalf of WWE, I would like to thank Commissioner Diaz and all his colleagues for their support, and the Miami-Dade Sports Commission for graciously rolling out the red carpet to bring WrestleMania to one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities," said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO. "We look forward to adding WrestleMania to the list of prestigious events held at Sun Life Stadium."

On hand for the press conference were WWE champion The Miz, Royal Rumble winner Alberto del Rio, John Cena, Mark Henry, and Eve. On the non-wrestling side, aside the politicians and businessmen who made the deal, former Dolphins Quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino was there, along with singer Emilio Estefan, who is a minority owner in the Dolphins.

Sun Life Stadium has seen many, many major events over the years under its previous names -- Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, and Land Shark Stadium. Spectacles have included Super Bowls, World Series games, the annual Orange Bowl, and countless concerts.

"For nearly 25 years, Sun Life Stadium has played host to South Florida’s world class events that provide economic benefit to the entire community," said Dolphins CEO Mike Dee in the release. "We applaud the efforts of Commissioner Diaz and the Sports Commission on attracting WWE, and look forward to an unforgettable WrestleMania in 2012."