Stephanie McMahon Says WWE Can’t Wait for the Return of Live Crowds

Jun 17, 2021 - by James Walsh

Yahoo! Finance interviewed WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon this week about WWE resuming touring with live fans in attendance starting next month. McMahon was also asked about ticket sales for the upcoming events and WWE’s recent staff layoffs. Below are some highlights and a clip of that chat.

McMahon on the importance of having fans back: “Well, it’s so important to the brand because the live event where is our event really comes to life. When you think about WWE Superstars, they are akin to superheroes, except they’re real. They’re genuine. They’re authentic, you can come and see them in person. And I think we all discovered what the lack of audience really feels like when you don’t have anybody in attendance. And for WWE, we are interactive, we feed off our fans’ energy. They often dictate what happens in the ring, whether that’s what we’re doing physically or what we’re doing verbally. They’re a part of our show, and we just can’t wait to have them back.”

Stephanie McMahon on how they will incorporate virtual aspects moving forward: “Well to your point, WWE never went off the air during the pandemic, so we continued to produce seven hours of live content at a minimum for our partners and especially for our fans, and we did learn a lot of lessons along the way. So, in the fall of last year, we actually hoped to be back at live events. And when we realized that wasn’t going to happen, we doubled down, we invested in this virtual technology where we have now had nearly a million people all around the world sign up to be live. The virtual seats were set up around the ring almost like they were there. It did really bring the spectacle back to WWE. In terms of how we’re going to incorporate virtual moving forward, it’s something that we’re continuing to discuss. We’re really focusing on the live people, though, and of course that all picks up on July 16.”

On how current sales are currently doing: “Ticket sales are looking great. We are currently on sale with about 26 different events, and of course, SummerSlam goes on sale this Friday, very important, August 21 from Allegiant Stadium, which is Raiders Stadium in Vegas. We’re so excited, and we have seen excellent results so far. We are definitely tracking way ahead of where we were actually the last time we were in market for these events. So, we feel very good about it.”

Stephanie McMahon on the “restructuring” of different departments and staff layoffs: “Well, I think like a lot of media companies, we’re in the process of transition and evolution. And when you consider the fact that we had three different media teams really doing the same work, we realized there was a lot of duplication and inefficiency. So, it’s being more prudent business people and looking at our business in a different way.”

On her getting back on the ring: “Ever since Ronda Rousey broke my arm, I think I have a little PTSD. So, I’m not sure when you’re going to see me in the ring anytime soon, but I guarantee, for SummerSlam, there’s going to be a lot of surprises.”

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