WWE Denies 'Friday Night SmackDown' in Detroit Was Canceled Amid Coronavirus Concerns

The WWE has denied a report that it has canceled its scheduled taping of Friday Night SmackDown from Detroit, amid mounting concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

PWInsider reported late Wednesday that the WWE pulled the Fox show from its originally scheduled location and moved it to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. The WWE issued a statement denying the report but said it will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation.

"WWE has not canceled Friday Night SmackDown in Detroit. However, based on the current situation, we are putting contingency plans in place in the event that upcoming WWE shows are canceled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues," the statement said.

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WWE/Fox

This week's NXT was held in the Performance Center because its usual location, Florida's Full Sail University, was booked for a separate event.

John Cena is schedule to appear on the next episode of Friday Night SmackDown, where he will continue his WrestleMania feud with "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. This week's episode is also expected to mark the return of Jeff Hardy and Paige. Tickets for Friday Night SmackDown at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit were still on sale at the time of publication.

The Zac Brown Band announced on its Instagram account that it has have canceled a Saturday show at the Little Caesars Arena for the "well-being" of its fans.

WWE officials, including Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, are in Tampa, the site of WrestleMania 36, to meet with officials to discuss plans for the event. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said at a Thursday press conference that, in regard to large events in the area like WrestleMania, "we don't have to take immediate action for events weeks down the road."

WrestleMania 36 is less than four weeks away.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said at a Thursday press conference that the state should cancel or postpone any mass gatherings for the next 30 days. He suggested that if a mass gathering is not canceled, event organizers should have screening measures in place.

Currently, there are 29 known cases of coronavirus in Florida.

WrestleMania, which is scheduled for April 5, is a global event, with thousands of fans coming from all around the world. Globally, more than 120,000 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

On Wednesday, the NBA announced it will suspend its season for an indefinite period after one of its players tested positive. Major League Soccer followed suit, suspending its season for 30 days, and many NCAA Men's Basketball conference tournaments announced cancellations on Thursday.