Hillsborough County identified its first case of coronavirus on Sunday, a little more than a month before Tampa hosts a major international event at Raymond James Stadium.
That would be WrestleMania, which is expected to draw more than 70,000 fans from more than 60 countries around the world on April 5.
Last week, WWE officials told the Times the company was monitoring the coronavirus epidemic, with chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon saying, “The health and safety of not only our fan base, but also our superstars, really does come first."
On Monday, Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, said in an email that his team had “nothing to add” on the coronavirus front; as did a WWE spokesman. For now, the WWE and Sports Commission will continue monitoring its spread and adhering to public safety protocols. (Other major sporting events coming to Tampa Bay in the next month: IndyCar’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the PGA’s Valspar Championship and two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.)
“There are active and ongoing discussions at play internally, like there are in any sector of American business, and certainly families as a whole," John Saboor, WWE’s executive vice president of special events, told the Times on Thursday. "I think those will continue.”
WWE superstar Drew McIntyre, who lives in Tampa and will wrestle Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, told the Times on Monday that he remains focused on what’ll happen inside the ring, not outside.
“The company’s monitoring the situation,” McIntyre said. “Regarding me, I’m just focused on my job at hand, which is entertaining the people.”