London mayor Sadiq Khan wants to bring WrestleMania, major boxing and Super Bowl to capital

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has reiterated his ambition to bring the Super Bowl, WrestleMania, and potential boxing events like Anthony Joshua against Daniel Dubois to London as he strives to make the UK capital the global destination for sport.

Before his re-election as London mayor earlier this month, Khan pledged he would work to bring the National Football League’s (NFL) pivotal game, the Super Bowl, to London.

Speaking on Thursday, the 53-year-old expressed his desire to solidify London’s status as the “sporting capital of the world,” highlighting how the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund this Saturday marks the beginning of a summer filled with premier events, including Diamond League athletics, Olympic warm-up competitions, the Wimbledon tennis championships, and high-profile baseball and cricket matches.

“But I want more international events,” Khan said.

“I want (Anthony) Joshua and (Daniel) Dubois to take place in London. I want international WrestleMania taking place in London. The Super Bowl is really important for us. We have a number of American football games and I want it to come here because we want American sports fans in Europe to come to London to watch them, not just go to America.”

WrestleMania is celebrating its 40th year but has never been held in the UK. The event features stars like Cody Rhodes, Damian Priest, and Becky Lynch.

London has hosted NFL games in the past (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

London has hosted NFL regular season games every year since 2007, but the Super Bowl has never been staged outside the United States. All 54 editions of the game have been held on American soil since its inception in 1967.

Joshua, meanwhile, has been tipped to face the winner of Dubois’s heavyweight clash against Filip Hrgovic this Saturday.

Khan, first elected in 2016 and now in his third term, said London was “absolutely” ready to host the events.

“This weekend we’re going to have tens of thousands of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund fans here,” Khan said.

“It contributes more than £50million towards our economy, our hotels, our restaurants, our theatres. These events bring people together.”

Khan also acknowledged the need to repair London’s reputation following the chaotic scenes of the men’s European Championship final in 2021, where 19 police officers were injured and over 50 arrests were made after fans stormed Wembley Stadium for the game between England and Italy. He described the events as “unacceptable” but noted that “lessons have been learned”.

“Dame Louise Casey very kindly agreed to chair a committee to look at what went wrong, what we could do to improve it,” he said. “The FA deserve credit for investing more than £5m pounds improving the turnstiles. We have 1500 more stewards, we have 500 volunteers, we’ve got extra police.

“It’s really important that the people who come to London this weekend come to enjoy the football, come to enjoy the festivities but don’t come here to cause a nuisance.

“The FA, the police, Wembley stadium, UEFA, all of us have worked really hard to make sure this is a peaceful, successful event.”

(Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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