by: Bob Magee

For those of us in the Philadelphia area, next weekend is WrestleMania weekend. It's hard to believe the high mainstream profile of this event in Philadelphia this coming week. Coming into and out of Philadelphia on the Walt Whitman Bridge that connects Philadelphia and New Jersey are two HUGE billboards that plug the PPV and several of the major Titan personalities.

The Philadelphia Daily News (one of the city's two major newspapers) will have an free four-color mini Steve Austin photo insert on Thursday, March 25, in every issue. They are then following up with a special section entirely devoted to WrestleMania, on Friday, March 26th with information on WrestleMania XV and and the WrestleMania Rage Party.

But that high profile and a failure of Titan Sports to utilize it properly is the subject of that column.

Most of us online or who view WWF programming regularly are aware of the WrestleMania Rage Party the night before at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Name entertainment, including Isaac Hayes, rap artist Big Punisher, Cherry Popping Daddies, Loudmouth, and "Beer Nuts" will perform at the Rage Party.

One problem: tickets are priced at $80. This is WAY out of line for a family, or for any of us who spent money for a premium-priced WrestleMania ticket. I seriously doubt that even the most dedicated WWF fans can afford to lay out $320 for a family of four to attend the event.

Titan is absolutely missing the boat on not doing a broader fan-based event instead of/or along with the WrestleMania Rage Party. Previous WrestleManias or other PPVs have featured some type of more public "Fan Fest" type event. The original WWF plans for such an event before WrestleMania were the reason that the New Jersey based NWA postponed its annual Eddie Gilbert Memorial Weekend (originally planned on the Friday/Saturday of WrestleMania weekend)until later in the year.

Wouldn't it have made far more sense in terms of marketing for Titan to have had MORE people at a fan-based event during the day, people who will spend additional money on merchandise, rather than a smaller number of people who put out $80 at one event? Given the large demand for tickets in the Philadelphia, which FAR exceeded the supply, the WWF owed its fans better for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

So if any of you are in town for WrestleMania, and are looking for a free opportunity to meet Titan personalities; you might want to consider stopping by the DoubleTree Hotel at Broad and Locusts Streets in center city Philadelphia. Most of the WWF workers are staying at this hotel for the weekend. Other television personalities and support staff are staying at the Stadium Holiday Inn at 10th Street and Packer Avenue.

You could also take part in any one of the personal appearances by several WWF personalities taking place at locations around the Philadelphia area through out this coming week. Check the WWF website for information regarding those appearances.

Until next time...

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