On Sunday 72,000 fans packed University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona for WrestleMania 26
. Another one million people across the world tuned in to view the spectacle via pay-per-view.
A year earlier, in Houston, another 72,000 rasslin' aficionados filled Reliant Stadium, dropping nearly $7 million on tickets and merchandise for what's become the Super Bowl of professional wrestling.
And that figure doesn't include the estimated $50-million that fans spent at area hotels and restaurants. Houston officials estimated that 60 percent of attendees traveled from other states or countries and stayed an average of three nights to attend WrestleMania.
As Variety reported yesterday
, now a cadre of 14 cities are elbowing, leg-dropping and pile-driving each other for the chance to host future WrestleManias. One of those cities? St. Louis, which has never hosted the event
But we'll have to wait. The match is already booked for next year -- in Atlanta.