WWE announces Indianapolis as host city for future WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Royal Rumble (2024)

INDIANAPOLIS -- For the first time since 1992, Indianapolis is going to host WWE WrestleMania. For the first time since 2008, the Circle City will host WWE SummerSlam.

And for the first time, Indianapolis will host WWE Royal Rumble, set for Saturday, Feb. 1, 2025.

With WWE Monday Night Raw held in Gainbridge Fieldhouse later Monday evening, and former Indianapolis Colts star Pat McAfee making up half of the commentary team, all the stars aligned to set the announcement of an eight-year deal in motion. Initial reports of a multi-year deal between Indiana Sports Corp and WWE came out June 20 from WrestleVotes, and a news release from Indiana Sports Corp. confirmed the deal Monday morning.

“For over four decades, our city’s sports strategy has brought in millions of visitors and priceless hours of international brand-building media coverage," said Patrick Talty, President of Indiana Sports Corp in a news release. "This partnership with WWE continues to push that strategy forward in new and exciting ways. We look forward to welcoming the WWE Universe to our community and state and showing them all that Indy has to offer.”Chris Legentil, WWE EVP, Talent Relations & Head of Communications added: “Indianapolis is a fantastic city for major events and we’re excited to invite the WWE Universe to Lucas Oil Stadium for Royal Rumble in 2025, and a future SummerSlam and WrestleMania.”

Briggs:When will Indianapolis host WrestleMania again?

Not only does the agreement confirm Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium as the host location for WWE's three most important yearly shows, but it also ensures Gainbridge Fieldhouse as the host of yearly Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown tapings, as well as other select events and WWE NXT shows. When Indianapolis hosts SummerSlam and WrestleMania, each will be a two-night event held at Lucas Oil Stadium. Events will also be held in Fort Wayne and Evansville.

"There is nothing more exciting than to have the three largest (events) that WWE hosts coming to Indianapolis," Talty said.

The deal between ISC and WWE is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $300 million. Royal Rumble is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2025; Talty said a target date is not set for WrestleMania or SummerSlam.

Andy Mallon, the executive director of the Indiana capital improvement board, promised that this 8-year partnership will break attendance records for Lucas Oil Stadium and Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

"Indianapolis is the greatest event city in the world," Mallon said. " ... Our city is built for events like this."

Karin Sarratt, an executive vice president for OneAmerica Financial, spoke about a Legacy project between WWE and the Indiana Sports Corp. Though she said the details of this project are still to be determined, it will be focused on benefitting sections of the Indianapolis area that are in need, similar to WWE's partnerships with Make-a-Wish, the Special Olympics, and the Boys and Girls Club of America.

Bianca Belair, a multi-time former WWE Women's Champion, is especially excited about the community-based aspect of the partnership. While her in-ring moniker describes her as the "Est of WWE" -- as in best, toughest, quickest, etc. -- she said she wants to inspire WWE fans of all ages to be the smartest, the kindest and the strongest.

"I never imagined myself being a WWE superstar, and I could never imagine myself not being one," Belair said. "Come to an event, the WWE Universe is like none other. All of a sudden you'll find yourself cheering and booing."

A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Indianapolis will be the closest WWE has come to Belair's home state for a WrestleMania since her debut in 2020.

"With it being so close to Tennessee, it's gonna feel like a family reunion," Belair told IndyStar. "I feel like the whole WWE Universe is my family to begin with. ... I've never really been a part of a huge moment here in Indianapolis, but I would love to create that memory here."

'Short drive down I-74'

Seth 'Freakin' Rollins has been a part of numerous huge moments in Indianapolis. In fact, he made his main roster WWE debut at Survivor Series 2012, held inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse. At last October's Fastlane, WWE's most recent event in Indianapolis, he successfully defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match against Shinsuke Nakamura.

But more than that, Rollins was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa.

"I'm always gonna be a Midwest boy," Rollins said.

Rollins shared memories of watching WrestleMania VIII, the most recent time Indianapolis hosted the Showcase of the Immortals. He said the WWE Championship match on that show, Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage, is a match he still revisits every year when he shows his students at his Black and Brave Wrestling Academy.

When he heard the news of WWE's 8-year partnership with Indiana Sports Corp, Rollins said he was blown away.

"There are plenty of big cities all across the country that we could have gone to and done something like this, but the fact that we got a partnership here -- just a short drive down I-74 for me -- I'm excited for that," Rollins said. "You guys are the guinea pigs. We're just testing it out, this is a first-time experience for all of us, and there's no better city in the world."

While WrestleMania has been a two-night event since 2020, SummerSlam has not yet spanned across two evenings. When SummerSlam was last in Indianapolis in 2008, it was a 3-hour show held in front of just less than 16,000 fans.

When SummerSlam returns to Indianapolis in the near-future, WWE anticipates selling out Lucas Oil Stadium on back-to-back nights.

"It makes so much sense," Belair told IndyStar. "Our roster is so stacked, and it's only growing. ... We need those two nights. It benefits us as talent because we get to showcase our diverse roster, but it also is beneficial to our fans. One night is not enough."

Although WWE and the Indiana Sports Corp are undoubtedly excited about Indianapolis playing host to the Royal Rumble and SummerSlam, Rollins called those events just an "appetizer" compared to the spectacle of WrestleMania.

WWE filled up the Hoosier Dome 32 years ago, with more than 62,000 making up the reported attendance at WrestleMania VIII, but Rollins said what excited him most about bringing WrestleMania to Indianapolis is the opportunity to help create core memories for the next generation of wrestling fans here.

"When I got into WWE about 15 (years) ago, I wanted to change things," Rollins told IndyStar. " ... Where it's at from where it started when I came in in 2012 is beyond even my wildest expectations. We are entering a whole new world now ... We're taking it new heights, and I don't know what the cap is, and that's the most exciting part."

Contact Kyle Smedley with comments via email at KSmedley@Gannett.com or via X @KyleSmedley_.

WWE announces Indianapolis as host city for future WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Royal Rumble (2024)

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