by Kevin Allman
New Orleans will have nearly 14 months to prepare for the arrival of WRESTLEMANIA XXX (imagine that phrase in some awesomely '80s heavy-metal font, please), which will erupt in the Superdome on Apr. 6, 2014.
At The World's Loudest Press Conference this morning, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and tourism officials welcomed World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (better known as the WWE) for what they said was an event that would bring 125,000 participants to the city for one week next spring. WWE impresario Vince McMahon called it "a perfect tag team of WWE and New Orleans."
On hand were Rita Benson Leblanc, New Orleans Saints owner/vice-chairman; Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau; Mark Romig, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation; Jay Cicero, CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation (who said before the event that he was "just getting over" the Super Bowl); Alan Freeman, Superdome general manager; councilwoman Jackie Clarkson and other local dignitaries.
But it was the WWE that brought the pizzazz, with wrestlers/entertainers Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena; WWE cheerleaders "The Funkadactyls"; and rapper Brodus Clay ("From his hizzle planet funk standing at a funktastic 6 feet 8 inches tall..."). Pictures and more under the jump.