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Monday, October 26, 2009

WrestleMania® Makes Close To $50 Million For Host City

-- Source: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. --

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct 26, 2009 -- World Wrestling Entertainment® announced today that The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania generated a $49.8 million dollar economic windfall for the greater Houston area, according to a study conducted by the Enigma Research Corporation. Despite one of the biggest economic downturns in recent history, local and state governments collected $5.7 million in taxes. This follows the $51.5 million of economic impact WrestleMania XXIV brought to Orlando.

“Having the opportunity to host The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania was a huge honor and success,” said Greg Ortale, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. “The direct expenditure demonstrates that WrestleMania is indeed economically on par with the world’s greatest sports and entertainment offerings.”

“Our overarching goal with our public and private sector partners is to consistently provide positive economic impact for WrestleMania’s host communities and establish a lasting pro-social legacy, “said John P. Saboor, Senior Vice President of Special Events for World Wrestling Entertainment.

A capacity crowd of 72,744 from all 50 states, 24 countries and seven Canadian provinces attended the pop culture extravaganza. Key highlights from the study included:

$49.8 million of direct, indirect and induced impact derived from spending by non-locals visiting specifically for The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, equating to 600 full time jobs for the area.

During WrestleMania Week, 86% of out of state, overnight visitors who came in for the festivities, stayed in local Houston area hotels. 67% stayed for three nights or more.

Nearly 75% of fans that came to The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania from outside of Houston traveled by air.

23% of the fans that came from out of state were from California and New York.

Nearly 65% of the fans that attended were between the ages of 10 and 34.

Next year, WrestleMania XXVI will take place March 28, 2010 from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Tickets go on sale Saturday, November 7 at 10 AM MT through the University of Phoenix Stadium box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. The event will be broadcast live on pay-per-view, and viewed in more than 100 countries.

Enigma Research Corporation is an international consulting firm which specializes in measuring the economic impact of special events. Enigma’s economists developed a customized model which converted expenditures into economic impact, employment created and taxes generated as a result of the event.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media company and recognized leader in global entertainment. With programming broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages, WWE provides 22 hours of weekly PG-rated programming domestically, in addition to 14 pay-per-views a year. Each week, 16 million people tune-in domestically to see WWE Superstars and Divas on Monday Night Raw®, Friday Night SmackDown®, ECW®, and WWE Superstars’ with millions more internationally. WWE holds more than 300 live events, entertaining over two million fans a year. The company’s brand extends across multiple platforms including: WWE Studios; WWE.com and WWEKids.com; WWE Magazine and WWE Kids Magazine; licensed merchandise; music and home entertainment. In addition, WWE “In Your Corner” is WWE’s charitable arm that focuses on literacy programs, civic engagement, military support and a 20+ year partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. More information on World Wrestling Entertainment can be found at http://corporate.wwe.com/

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, copyrights and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, feature films, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, our dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.