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SLAM! WRESTLING

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SLAM! Wrestling







Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Toronto pins hopes on WWF

Fight's on for WrestleMania

By GEORGE CHRISTOPOULOS -- Toronto Sun
WRESTLEMANIA The program from WrestleMania VI in Toronto.
VIDEO CLIP: Clip: The Ultimate Warrior gets a clean pin on Hogan, wins title! (2.8 MB)

The city is putting its best leglock forward in a no-holds- barred battle to bring the world's largest squared circle back to Toronto, says Mayor Mel Lastman.

"WrestleMania would be a terrific event for our city in 2002 and I would hope the WWF would decide to hold the event at SkyDome," Lastman said during a news conference yesterday in which he confirmed the city has made a strong pitch to host WrestleMania XVIII.

"I'm particularly excited about it ... Toronto has got a lot of momentum right now and WrestleMania would be a terrific addition," Lastman said.

As reported in The Sunday Sun, city officials have been in head-to-head negotiations with World Wrestling Federation Entertainment for over a month to an attempt to bring the annual bash of bedlam here next April.

WORLD-CLASS FACILITY

"A world-class event like WrestleMania deserves a world-class facility like SkyDome," SkyDome president Jake Geleerd said yesterday.

The event hasn't been held in Toronto since 1990, when WrestleMania VI set Canadian attendance records by attracting 67,678 fans to the SkyDome. Published reports indicate Tampa Bay is also being considered as a host city.

"If we can convince the WWF to choose SkyDome despite the strong U.S. dollar, this will be the entertainment event of the year in Canada," Geleerd said.

A final decision won't be made until sometime in late August, he said.

If a deal is struck, the city expects up to 100,000 people to attend both the main event and related events. As much as $10 million would into the local economy.

Billed as the biggest single sports event in North America after the Super Bowl, the WWF has turned its unique brand of body slams and sleeper holds into a multi-million-dollar business.

SPINOFF INDUSTRIES

The sport has spawned spin-off industries involving magazines, clothing, video games and its own TV show.

WWF stars such as The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin have become both millionaires and household names.

July 22: Wrestlemania coming to Toronto?
More on Wrestlemania XVIII

Toronto Sun WrestleMania 6 Stories





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