The sports entertainment company’s flagship event, which was held over two nights this past Saturday and Sunday, took place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Capacity was capped, though both nights still sold out, with 25,675 fans each night (51,350 total). Fans were seated in socially distanced pods, with mask requirements, mobile ticketing, cashless concessions, and enhanced sanitization throughout the venue.
According to WWE, the event also saw a record 1.1 billion video views across their various video and social media channels, marking a 14% increase year-over-year. WWE content also saw a record 115 million engagement on social media during the week of WrestleMania, a 102% increase, and boasted 71 Twitter trends alone between Saturday and Sunday night. In addition, on-site merchandise sales were said to be the highest per capita in WWE history.
“If it could be done in a safe way, we had to get it done,” WWE president and chief revenue officer Nick Khan told Variety. “And I think ultimately, thanks to the great work of all the folks here, we were able to get it done. If you recall, WrestleMania last year was two to three weeks into the pandemic. We had to cancel last minute and we did it from a studio. It was certainly a different experience. So we wanted to make sure that the fans and the people watching at home got the WWE experience that they’re used to on the biggest event that we have.”
Indeed, WrestleMania 36 was originally supposed to take place at Raymond James Stadium, but due to the outbreak of the pandemic, it was shifted to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL, with no fans in attendance. But with the state of Florida having lifted COVID restrictions, the company was able to bring its fanbase back into the show live.
No additional shows with live fans have been announced at this time. For months, WWE has been staging events as part of its ThunderDome residency, which recently moved to Tampa’s Yuengling Center. The ThunderDome set features large LED screens that virtually bring fans into the arena via live video.
When asked if there are plans for more in-person events, Khan said, “Any plans? Yes. Any plans we can share? Stay tuned. But just know that once we’re back on the road, we’re on the road full time. We’re not looking to do other one offs. Again, this was WrestleMania. And we felt it needed to be done for the fans. So look for news coming soon.”
WrestleMania 37 was also the first large-scale WWE event since the company signed its deal with Peacock. Khan would not comment on WWE viewership on the streaming platform, but sources say the event drove a large influx in new Peacock subscribers. Variety has reached out to reps for Peacock for comment and will update should they respond.