More on AEW’s Plans To Allow More Fans Into Shows
It was reported yesterday that AEW Dynamite will be a ticketed event next Thursday with fans allowed inside until they reach 10-15% capacity. That’s about 500 people. This is an increase from the 150 that AEW had been allowing into events, although they were only people with a connection to the show or venue.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that if the taping on Thursday goes well, AEW may then increase the amount of people allowed inside to 750. However, they do not plan going above that right now, even as NFL teams are looking to host 15,000-25,000 fans when football season begins in a few weeks. If 750 goes well for AEW, then they may attempt to increase their numbers.
The plan is to keep fans an entire deck away from the talent that is at ringside. They will be kept in groups with family and friends, which are then kept socially distant from the other groups of family and friends. Wrestlers will be on the floor, the 100 section of the stadium at Daily’s Place will be empty and fans will be allowed into the 200 section and above. However, with more people allowed inside that means it will become harder and harder to keep groups separate. This is true even with just 1,500 people, which would be just under 30%.
Each group will be allowed a maximum number of six within it, with as much distance as possible between the other groups. Masks will be required for entry and there will be temperature checks. Tickets will be scanned and any purchases of food or merchandise will be through credit card instead of cash.
AEW is still planning to tape two weeks at a time most of the time, which helps them limit production costs to mitigate the lack of live gate revenue for the time being. It also helps with the travel schedule, as a large portion of the AEW roster is on the West Coast and having them fly in, do the show and then quarantine for two weeks wouldn’t be possible with weekly tapings.
AEW President Tony Khan studied recent shows from Warrior Wrestling and GCW, which had fans, in order to determine how to set up the shows. Warrior Wrestling had over 500 people inside a high school football stadium, which was much smaller than Daily’s Place. Khan believed that they could do a show with that many people safely in a 5,500 seat building. He reportedly ‘liked what he saw’ from Warrior Wrestling’s event in Chicago.