Finally, Wrestlemania will come back to Toronto!
Watch andPOP’s recap of the WWF’s announcement of Wrestlemania in Toronto! This video requires that you have RealPlayer 8.0 or G2 installed. If you do not have it please visit Real.com
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It was announced Monday that Wrestlemania 18 will be held at the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario on March 17, 2002. Thousands of fans, some lined up since the middle of the night, came out to watch the press conference at Nathan Phillips Square, across from Toronto?s City Hall.
?Wrestlemania 18 will be held at SkyDome,? said Jim Ross, Senior Vice President of Talent Relations, as he greeted the crowd.
?It?s going to be great for our economy. It?s going to be great for Sick Kid?s Hospital. It?s going to be great for the WWF fans of this great city of Toronto,? said Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman. ?Wrestlemania will pump millions of dollars into our economy.?
Lastman received a mixed reaction from the crowd, but it was completely negative for Ontario Premier Mike Harris. The audience booed throughout Harris? speech, and they even began a loud ?a-hole? chant.
Tickets for the show will go on sale Saturday, November 3, 2001, with prices to be announced soon.
?As far as this year?s Wrestlemania is concerned,? said WWF owner Vince McMahon, ?I promise you, no, I guarantee you this will be the greatest Wrestlemania of them all.?
Besides the actual Wrestlemania event, there will be three days of ?WWF Fan Axxess? that will be held on Thursday, March 14 to Saturday, March 16. The location has not been finalized yet.
?Every single time we come here, it seems to be sold out,? said Kurt Angle, former WWF Champion. ?The Toronto fans really enjoy the show. I don?t think we?re here enough. Three times a year might sound like a lot to most cities, but Toronto, Canada, they?re very loyal to the WWF and in return, we like to be loyal to them.?
Wrestlers on hand included Angle, Triple H, Trish Stratus, Chris Jericho, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and Booker T. Also in attendance was Shane and Stephanie McMahon, and Jerome Williams of the Toronto Raptors, who promised to bring an NBA title to Toronto next year.
?I can honestly say that [the fans here are special], not only in Toronto, but all across Canada, because we?re not here every single week,? The Rock said to andPOP following the press conference. ?They always give us so much passion, [and] so much energy. Especially in the ACC, acoustically it sounds fantastic.?
Wrestlemania was also held at the SkyDome in 1990, with the main event seeing The Ultimate Warrior beat Hulk Hogan to win the WWF title. The vibe of the day seemed to be that Toronto fans are some of the WWF?s best, but tell that to Steve Austin
?I need a sold out arena to give you a true barometer,? said Stone Cold when asked how the Toronto fans stack up to other fans around the world. ?I?ve wrestled in the SkyDome many times, and it?s a great building. We?ve had some great events there, but it hasn?t been sold out. If the people show up on fire, and if we do a hell of a job in the ring, it will be an experience not be missed. I look forward to wrestling at a sold out SkyDome.?