Toronto or Miami? Is There Really a Choice?

Toronto or Miami? Is There Really a Choice?

By Kevin Kelly   


Not since LeBron James said “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat” has a Decision spurned a northern industrial city, leaving that city’s fans stunned.

It was fait accompli… a done deal… Toronto was supposed to get Mania 28, right?

Long rumored to secure the 2012 event, the host city for WrestleMania 18 was passed over for sunny South Florida.

And sorry to my friends and fans in Canada but this is the biggest no-brainer since LeBron joined D-Wade and Chris Bosh with the Heat. There is one big reason that jumps off the page to me why the WWE would have made this choice.

Money, money, money

When the exchange rate was friendlier toward the US, you could soften the blow of having paying both Provincial and Federal taxes on goods and services after crossing the border. When Toronto last hosted WrestleMania, the exchange rate was approximately $1.39 Canadian for every US Dollar. Now, the exchange rate is even… one for one.

Where you get crushed is taxes especially when compared to the state of Florida. Currently the combined tax rate for Ontario is 13% but it’s only 6% in Florida. Also, the Miami-Dade Sports Commission was very aggressive and is giving $250,000 to the WWE to host WrestleMania. No word how much Toronto was planning to offer.

Aside from money, I have to wonder if the loss of Carl DeMarco, who was the head of WWE offices in Canada, affected Toronto’s bid. Pure speculation on my part but when I was there, Carl DeMarco managed every part of WWE business in Canada and was widely believed that DeMarco was driving force behind bringing Mania to Toronto in 2002.