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As WrestleMania 40 takes over Philadelphia, PHL views WWE's greatest night a "kickoff" for 2026

Pep rally held at Philadelphia International Airport ahead of WrestleMania 40
Pep rally held at Philadelphia International Airport ahead of WrestleMania 40 02:07

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Philadelphia is getting ready to welcome WrestleMania 40, one of the biggest sporting and entertainment attractions of 2024. WrestleMania XL is ready to take over the city.

Nearly 100,000 people are expected to come through Philadelphia International Airport for the event.

"This is really the kickoff of everything that's coming in 2026," Heather Redfern, a spokesperson for the airport, said.

Redfern is referring to the city's 250th celebration, the MLB All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, the FIFA World Cup and the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament all set to take place in 2026. Delco will also host two big golf events in 2026 — the 108th PGA Championships in Newtown Square and the 2026 U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club.

WrestleMania 40 and the Philadelphia International Airport

For WrestleMania 40, PHL has a replica of a WWE ring in Terminal B. It's the airport's way to get people excited for the next few days from the moment they land. There are also replicas of official WWE belts.

CBS News Philadelphia

Airport officials said it's an all-hands-on-deck moment to get people hyped for Mania.

"The airport is one of the first places people see when they get into the city," Redfern said, "so we're always putting our best foot forward, especially when big events are happening, and WrestleMania is one of the biggest events in sports you can have."

Milton Creary, a lifelong wrestling fan, said he attended WrestleMania in Philadelphia 25 years ago. 

"I remember first being here at the airport, meeting all of the performers. Triple H and Chyna at the time – rest in peace to Chyna. When Stone Cold and The Rock had a match, that was the headline match at the time," Creary said. 

Creary will be among more than 100,000 people expected to attend WrestleMania at the Linc on Saturday and Sunday.

SmackDown and WWE Raw will also take place at Wells Fargo, and the Pennsylvania Convention Center will host interactive fan events as well. 

WrestleMania 40 is expected to generate millions for the Philadelphia region, a weekend-long event that will impact the city for years. 

"They're going to take over the city of Philadelphia," Gregg Caren, the president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. 

Philadelphia brewery getting in on WrestleMania 2024

Across the city, the business community is pulling out all the stops to get you ready for WrestleMania 40.

Attic Brewery is getting in on the "mania." CBS News Philadelphia got a tour of the taproom and brewery on Berkley Street in Germantown. They just released "Big Dan's IPA."

Attic Brewing Company

The name came from local professional wrestler Dan Champion. Beginning Wednesday, Attic Brewery will be hosting "Wrestle Jawn" in its outdoor beer garden. The brewery will host over a dozen wrestlers during the two-day event.

"It's a dream come true. It's so awesome. I'm a big IPA fan still. Have a beer named after me with a drawing me on. It is something I can never dream of. It's it's so cool," Dan Champion, whose real name is Dan English, said. "It's so exciting that it's so local. Philadelphia is huge to the wrestling community, has been for decades. So to have an event this big in Philadelphia is awesome."

Wrestle Jawn also benefits Philabundance.

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