November 7, 2011
WrestleMania XXVIII does big numbers
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
When WWE announced The Rock would face John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII back in April, many expected the show to be a big success from a business perspective.
The early returns came in positive for WWE, as the show, which will be held April 1 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla., sold a company record $6.3M (USD) in tickets on the first day, WWE announced Monday.
The first-day gate breaks the previous record of $4.8M set for WrestleMania 25, held in 2009 from Reliant Stadium in Houston.
"We are thrilled that WrestleMania XXVIII has already made WWE history in such dramatic fashion," WWE Senior Vice President of Special Events John Saboor said in a press release. "Coming off the momentum of last year’s record breaking event in Atlanta, we fully anticipate that this year’s WrestleMania in Miami will be our largest and most successful ever."
The large first-day sale number is boosted by the highest ticket prices in WWE history. The most expensive seat at Sun Life Stadium, on the floor, will set fans back $1,500, $500 more than the highest price for last year's WrestleMania.
Tickets for the show start at $25.
The Rock and Cena have had a standing rivalry that has intensified ever since The Rock's return to WWE television in February when he was named the guest host of WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta. On that show, The Rock cost Cena his WWE Championship match against The Miz. The following night on Raw, the two agreed to a match at WrestleMania XXVIII the following year and shook hands.
The Rock will make his in-ring return Nov. 19 at Survivor Series when he teams with Cena for the first and last time to face The Miz and R-Truth at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
It's been seven-and-a-half years since The Rock last wrestled, when he and Mick Foley dropped a 2-on-3 handicap match to Randy Orton, Batista and Ric Flair at WrestleMania XX, also held at Madison Square Garden.