EAST RUTHERFORD -- The WWE, the State of New Jersey, representatives of MetLife Stadium, Barclays Center and a variety of other executives made it official Friday afternoon -- WrestleMania 35 will return to the New York/New Jersey metro area in 2019.
Though news broke in the days leading up to the news conference inside of MetLife Stadium, New Jersey's Lieutenant Governor, Sheila Oliver, officially began the countdown to the 2019 edition of WrestleMania, which will take place on April 7.
"WrestleMania is a week-long series of events that will bring an incredible economic windfall to the region -- and certainly, that's why Governor [Phil] Murphy and I are ecstatic," Oliver said.
The news conference, which featured comical openings and closings from The New Day and speeches from Oliver, Paul "Triple H" Levesque, Stephanie McMahon and John Cena, among others, put the WWE's return to the region in which it began into perspective.
"I can't tell you how exciting it is to be back here in our backyard -- to be home in New York and New Jersey," said WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon.
Levesque, still an active in-ring performer in addition to his role as executive vice president of talent, live events and creative, recalled just how special his first WrestleMania experience was, and how special it continues to be every year.
"My first experience with WrestleMania was WrestleMania 11," Levesque said. "I was a freshly signed young talent with the WWE, watching celebrity after celebrity walk by me. Watching some of the most amazing performers in the world like Shawn Michaels and Diesel perform in the ring -- I was completely blown away by WrestleMania. Every single year since then, I have been completely blown away by what WrestleMania brings to the WWE."
In addition to WrestleMania 35 at MetLife Stadium, Barclays Center will host the NXT TakeOver, the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live during the course of the four days surrounding WrestleMania itself.
Cena, the final speaker of the afternoon and once a performer who has been tied to WWE and WrestleMania over the past 15 years -- he even proposed to his fiancée, Nikki Bella, last year in Orlando -- was able to lay out just how important this event has been to him.
"Instead of looking at these experiences one by one, I'd like to lump them all up and in totality, answer what WrestleMania means to me. It means everything. That's because the WWE is not just my livelihood, it is my life. It's the life that I've chosen. It's the life that I'd choose 100 times out of 100. Because every year, I give everything I have to the WWE for WrestleMania."