WWE WrestleMania 37: Titus O’Neil says Tampa best place to host the Show of Shows
How would you describe Tampa to someone that doesn’t know much about it?
Titus: It’s a great place to raise a family, a great place to visit from out of town. If you’re looking to, you know, be around water and enjoy outdoor activities. Great food spots. It’s a great foodie town, a lot of great restaurants.
And if you’re looking for just a place to be inspired, I mean, if you look at the history of the city and this area, from where it came from to where it is right now, it’s still a lot of people that are home grown in the City of Tampa – that truly love the city.
When it’s time for us to come together, whether it be because of a pandemic or a hurricane, or just to support various causes, the city always comes together. There are a lot of giving people in this community and that energy feeds off to whoever comes here as an outsider.
They learn very quickly that there is a certain way that we do things here in Tampa, and that promotes and helps everyone that comes to the city.
… and obviously the weather most days is amazing! I just love the community as a whole. It really feels like a community. It’s not broken into various segments of people. I think that people embrace people here.
Do you think people realize that Tampa is a world-leading city when it comes to sport and entertainment?
Titus: People don’t realize that Tampa is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States. There are people that are moving here from California and New York and even overseas. The housing market is going through the roof.
I don’t think any other place in the country can say that all four major sports franchises that are in one city made it to a Championship game. We can say that. Tampa can say that, with two of them winning.
The local clubs and franchises
The NHL Stanley cup Champions with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl at their home stadium – and then went on to win it.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies, which is our soccer team, made it to the Championship game but it got cancelled by COVID. Then you’ve got the Tampa Bay Rays and the World Series. These franchises are giving Tampa an opportunity to be on the world stage, the only other city that is close to that is Los Angeles with the Dodgers and the Lakers winning.
We also hosted the National Championship a couple of years ago here as well, and we’re one of the only cities in the country that has hosted five Super Bowls. So, you know, when you take that all into account, Tampa is the perfect place for WrestleMania to emanate from.
How excited are the people of Tampa to finally have WrestleMania coming to Raymond James Stadium?
Titus: We relish the opportunity to be able to show the world what we have, what we’re about, who we are as a community, and that we can party hard. We can put on first-class experiences for sports and entertainment and we try to leave legacies with those experiences.
We try to spread the wealth by having certain activations that are set up just like we will with WrestleMania to make sure that people that can’t make it to the stadium, Raymond James Stadium, that they can actually still feel a part of the WrestleMania week experience in some capacity – whether it’s through a community event or through a virtual meet and greet.
We want to be the antidote to hard times for people. Where they can go and sit in front of your television and escape their world, immerse themselves in the world of WWE for a few hours to be entertained, to be taken on an emotional roller coaster, to be invested in stories and ultimately be able to bring their family together where so many people are not able to do that because of the pandemic.
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