World Wrestling Entertainment Blows "Big Time" Into Chicago Starting Tuesday, March 28, With A Series of Public Events As Part of WrestleMania 22 Week
STAMFORD, Conn., March 22, 2006 – World Wrestling Entertainment will invade the Chicago areafrom Tuesday, March 28, through Sunday, April 2, with a series of autograph signings, radio and television appearances, school programs, a high school reading challenge, and a 2006 WWE® Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, all leading up to the presentation of WWE’s annual “Big Time” live event and pay-per-view pop culture extravaganza, WrestleMania 22.
On Sunday, April 2, WWE will present WrestleMania 22 at Rosemont’s Allstate Arena before a capacity crowd of more than 15,000 people from 16 countries and 43 states. All available seats for WrestleMania 22 sold in less than two minutes in October.
For those not attending, WrestleMania 22 can be purchased on pay-per-view through local cable affiliates or satellite providers, and will be seen in more than 90 countries.
The fun begins on Tuesday, March 28, when WWE Diva Candice Michelle™ has an autograph signing at Virgin Records on Michigan Avenue, the first of several “WWE Fan Frenzy” appearances by WWE Superstars and Legends at Toys’R’Us, Best Buy, Tower Records, Chicago Cycle, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Gameworks, and other locations.
Starting Wednesday, March 29, WWE Superstars will appear on “Mancow’s Morning Madhouse” on Q101 and on local television shows through Friday.
WWE Superstars also will start their visits to 16 high schools in the Chicagoland School District as part of WWE’s Get R.E.A.L. Read “Big Time Reading Challenge” with the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), Comcast, and the Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries. The WWE Superstars will talk to thousands of students about the importance of reading.
On Thursday, March 30, at noon, WWE Superstars will hold a news conference at the Chicago Theatre, which WWE fans are encouraged to attend. Starting at 4 p.m., fans can watch their favorite Superstars compete in a video game competition at the third annual THQ Superstar Challenge at the House of Blues.
On Friday, March 31, 150 students from the Chicagoland School District will compete in the “Big Time Reading Challenge” finals at Robert Morris College Center. The event will be hosted by WWE SmackDown® Superstar Rey Mysterio® and WWE RAW® Superstar and current Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin™, along with YALSA President Pam Spencer Holley and young adult author Chris Crutcher.
On Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, WWE’s “WrestleMania 22 Fan Axxess Tour,” which has been crossing the United States since mid-January, makes its final stop at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Ill. WWE Superstars and Legends will be on hand to greet fans and sign autographs. Presenting sponsor of the tour is the National Guard.
On Saturday night, April 1, WWE will induct several WWE Legends into its Hall of Fame, including Bret “Hit Man” Hart, who will be inducted by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin™, and the late Eddie Guerrero, who will be inducted by his nephew, WWE RAW Superstar Chavo Guerrero™, WWE SmackDown Superstar Chris Benoit® and WWE SmackDown Superstar Rey Mysterio. Among others to be inducted are: Gene Okerlund by Hulk Hogan™, “Sensational” Sherri by “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase; and Verne Gagne by his son, Greg. The ceremony will be held at the sold-out Rosemont Theater. Portions of the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented locally by Chicago Cycle, will be broadcast on the USA Network on Saturday, April 1, at 11 p.m. ET/10 p.m. CT.
From Monday, March 27, through Sunday, April 2, exclusive WrestleMania 22 merchandise and Superstar items will be available at The Chicago Sports Store in the Nordstrom Mall located at 520 North Michigan Avenue, The Chicago Sports Store located at 328 North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, The Wyndham O’Hare Hotel located at 6810 North Manheim Avenue in Rosemont, The Hyatt Hotel located at 9300 West Bryn Mawr Avenue in Rosemont, the Rosemont Theater and Allstate Arena. Talent will be visiting the retail locations throughout the week to sign autographs and meet with fans.
On Sunday morning, April 2, at its annual “Bacon, Bagels and Biceps Brunch,” WWE will honor its Circle of Champions, a dozen children and teens from around the United States (including Chicago), Canada and Australia. These individuals are honored for having shown courage in dealing with serious illnesses or disabilities. The organizations participating in the event are: Make-A-Wish Foundation; Wishing Star of Spokane, Wash.; Wishing Well Foundation USA of Metairie, La.; and Sunshine Dreams for Kids of Canada.
Then, at 5:30 p.m. (CT), it’s the Main Event, WrestleMania 22, presented by Snickers, at the sold-out Allstate Arena.
Due to the overwhelming demand, WWE will invade the Allstate Arena for one more night, as “Monday Night RAW” will be broadcast live on Monday, April 3, on USA Network starting at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
More information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE), can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For a complete list of WrestleMania Week activities, please visit Appearances at wrestlemania.com.
Media Contact: Gary Davis, Vice President, Corporate Communications 203-353-5066;
Michael Smith, Manager, Publicity 203-352-8657
Bonni Pear, Miller-Pear 312-649-0466
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