WrestleMania may be big boost to Bay Area economy

Friday, March 27, 2015
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The Bay Area organizers hope Wrestlemania will be big business for the region.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- WrestleMania 31 is coming to Levi's Stadium this weekend, the biggest professional wrestling event of the year. But it isn't just all fun. It could also big businesses for the Bay Area.

For many, WrestleMania is literally a dream come true. "I never thought it would come here, so that's why we're here, to experience it all," said Becky Norman, who drove down from Hercules.

"I love the entertainment, I love what they do for the community, I love the fan interaction. It's amazing and now it's become a family event with the kids," she said.

Redding resident, Shaun Sangervasi, spent five hours on the road to make it down.

"I'm just so excited to be here, because ever since I was a little kid, I have been watching Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, Rowdy Piper and Paul Orndorf. I always loved WrestleMania. I have been hooked since then," said Sangervasi.

These are just some of the more than 70,000 people who will attend the event throughout the weekend.

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"They're coming specifically for this event, but while they're here, they can see how great our weather is, they'll see how friendly the people are and these are the kinds of events that bring people back for another leisure trip in the future," explained Karolyn Kirchgesler, with the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The WWE says WrestleMania has pumped more than $150 million into the host city's economy each year since 2012.

But with so many people visiting from out of town, just how will they get around?

The Valley Transportation Authority will add buses and extra light-rail cars to its trains on Sunday, but transit officials say patience will be the key. Many attendees telling us the lines are fine, as long as they don't miss the main show at Levi's Stadium.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and you know what, who knows if they'll ever come back. So, we had to just do it and I've been saving for months, too," said Sangervasi.