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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Dome's day for fans
More than 70,000 to catch WrestleMania X8 in person

By PHILIP LEE-SHANOK -- Toronto Sun

WrestleMania X8, the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, will do something today that even the Toronto Blue Jays haven't done lately -- sell out the SkyDome.

It's expected that attendance will top 70,000, smashing the old SkyDome record set at WrestleMania VI, which drew 67,678 fans 12 years ago. Last year, 67,925 fans packed the Houston Astrodome for WrestleMania X7, which took in $3,530,905 US.

The largest crowd record -- 93,173 -- was set at WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome, near Detroit.

SkyDome reconfigured its seating to increase capacity just for the WWF event, which will be also broadcast pay-per-view in 130 countries and in 13 languages.

"There's no question it's great for the city," Mayor Mel Lastman said yesterday. "More than 110,000 people from 17 different countries will be spending money on our city."

TICKETS UP TO $600

Lastman said WrestleMania will generate $40 million for the local economy.

Tickets to the event run from $25 for Level 500 seats up to a wallet-bashing $600. About 35,000 fans forked out $40 each to get into the three-day Fan Axxess pre-show event.

Peterborough carpenter Tom Cummings, 22, expects to have dished out $800 by the time the WrestleMania dust settles. He paid $300 alone for a WWF Championship belt.

"It's the ultimate wrestling souvenir," he said, adding he's been a WWF fan since he was seven.

Louisa Singh, 24, who has been a fan ever since she can remember, says wrestling is not just a guy thing.

"Girls, guys, everyone watches WWF," she said. "I like the storylines and of course the men in tights."

WrestleMania presented cheques for $12,500 each to the Canadian Special Olympics and to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.


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