WWE: WrestleMania 37 in Tampa Bay to welcome back fans in limited capacity

World Wrestling Entertainment will welcome back fans for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, launching its showpiece event - WrestleMania - on April 11/12 (NZ time).

Previously scheduled for late March in California, WrestleMania 37 will now take place over two days at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida.

The home of the NFL's Buccaneers was originally scheduled to host the event in 2020, but WWE was forced to change plans, when coronavirus swept through the United States.

The event was held behind closed doors in Orlando and WWE hasn't had fans attend an event since February.

That will change in April, with a two-day sports entertainment extravaganza in Florida.

WWE will welcome back fans under strict health and safety protocols, although an official attendance capacity has yet to be confirmed.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says his state is excited to welcome both WWE and pro-wrestling fans into the city of Tampa. 

"Florida has continued to work with professional sports and entertainment to safely operate, while generating revenue and protecting jobs.

"WrestleMania will bring tens of millions of dollars to the Tampa area, and we look forward to hosting more sporting and entertainment events in Florida this year."

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor adds: "The opportunity for Tampa Bay to host WrestleMania in April is, in true WWE fashion, the perfect comeback story and marks a clear indication that our beautiful city is poised to bounce back stronger than ever. 

"We can’t wait to once again showcase all that team Tampa Bay has to offer."

WWE has also announced locations for WrestleMania 38 and 39.

AT&T Stadium in Dallas will host the event for the second time in 2022, while Inglewood's SoFi Stadium - the original venue for 2021 - shifts to 2023.