Philadelphia Is an Unmatched Event City

A Sponsored Message From Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau

According to World Wrestling Entertainment, Philadelphia set all-time records for gate, viewership, merchandise, fan event, and social-media engagement at WrestleMania 40 in early April — making it the most successful and highest-grossing WrestleMania ever. (Photo courtesy PHLCVB)

In early April, Philadelphia hosted the 40th edition of World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) signature annual event, WrestleMania. The week-long program was the most successful in WWE’s history — and the latest in Philadelphia’s winning record of hosting marquee sporting and other events.

“We knew WrestleMania 40 was going to be huge,” said Larry Needle, executive director of PHL Sports. “But the event exceeded even our high expectations.”

The confidence was well-founded. Established in 1987 as a dedicated business development arm of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), PHL Sports brings a championship mentality to every opportunity.

“We are committed to mastering every aspect of the sports tourism industry and the local market,” Needle said. “This sets us up for success in delivering the best possible results for our customers and partners in attracting large domestic and international sporting events to Philadelphia.”

From marketing and contracting to logistics and execution, it’s an all-in team effort. Key local and area partners and stakeholders include the City of Philadelphia; the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association; executives from Philadelphia’s professional sports franchises including the Philadelphia Eagles; and collegiate athletic directors. All have a seat on PHL Sports’ advisory board.

Sports — and More

Meeting planners and event organizers of the non-sporting variety also can count on the highest level of inter-agency support when booking Philadelphia.

“All parties proactively support the visitor experience, including our government and business community partners,” said PHLCVB President and CEO Gregg Caren. “When you bring your event to Philadelphia, you are collaborating with dedicated, experienced stakeholders who have considered and coordinated every facet of hosting and executing events for decades.”

Those past wins include hosting WrestleMania 15 in 1999. The event has since transcended the WWE orbit to become a global cultural phenomenon. Since 2016, the week-long sports entertainment extravaganza has created more than $1.25 billion in cumulative economic impact for host cities.

WrestleMania 39 generated $215 million for the Los Angeles region, representing a historic high for the WWE. According to the WWE, Philadelphia set all-time records for gate, viewership, merchandise, fan event, and social-media engagement — becoming the most successful and highest-grossing WrestleMania ever.

“Putting the incredible product that WWE delivers for its fans in this market moved WrestleMania to an unprecedented new level,” Needle said. “This latest success truly speaks to Philadelphia’s strength as a destination and the package we’re able to deliver for large-scale events.”

The WrestleMania package incorporated Philadelphia’s suite of major multi-purpose event venues including 69,696-capacity Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles; 20,000-seat Wells Fargo Center, home of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers; and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. All within easy reach of one another along with hotels, restaurants, and other attractions and venues, the collective proximity of these core visitor assets underscores Philadelphia’s strength as a city that functions as an integrated event campus.

“Our accessibility and our incredibly compact footprint are major advantages for supporting major single-day or multi-day bookings,” Needle said. “Easy to get to and easy to navigate once you’re here, Philadelphia itself essentially becomes the venue. When an event is in town, visitors feel the energy everywhere they go.”

These attributes and capabilities ably support bidding for future events.

“Success breeds success,” Needle said. “In the past decade alone, we have developed a track record for hosting the country’s biggest events, including the NFL Draft in 2017, the Democratic National Convention, Papal Visit, and now WrestleMania.”

Much of this recent evolution, he added, follows investment in expanding Philadelphia’s event infrastructure, including the integrated sports complex, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and the city’s hotel package.

2026 — A Banner Year

Philadelphia’s current hot streak continues in 2026 with the NCAA Men’s Basketball first and second rounds, MLB All-Star Game, PGA Championship, and for the first time ever, FIFA Men’s World Cup soccer matches.

This banner year kicks off in January 2026 with the 70th anniversary edition of PCMA Convening Leaders — in the city where the association was founded in 1956 as the Professional Convention Management Association.

On July 4, 2026, Philadelphia will be on the national stage and in the global spotlight as America celebrates the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which along with the U.S. Constitution, was debated, adopted, and signed in the Pennsylvania State House, known today as Independence Hall, one of Philadelphia’s top attractions.

“While always playing to our strengths,” Needle said, “we are careful not to work from the same playbook for every event. The goal is to constantly evolve and customize the experience every time to ensure Philadelphia’s success for years to come.


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