Which NFL Stadiums Could Host WWE Events in the Future?

Aug 15, 2023 - by staff

These are exciting times for the world of WWE and its many fans worldwide – and it really is a global phenomenon.

It’s been estimated that to date it has been watched by 36 million viewers across 180 different countries while also commanding huge in-person attendances.

The biggest of these to date has been Wrestlemania 32 held in April 2016 at the AT & T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. No less than 101,763 people were gathered there that day to see a feast of wrestling.

Twelve matches were contested and celebrities present ranged from Snoop Dog to Shaquille O’Neal. More to the point, it started to show the way forward for bigger and better events in the WWE universe.

This because bigger events are going to mean bigger audiences of all kinds. It’s already doing pretty well on that score when you look at the statistics. WWE’s online streaming service already has 1.5 million paying subscribers and its weekly flagship show WWE Raw regularly attracts 2 million viewers in the US alone.

But these figures are nothing when compared to a social media presence that has seen 5.5 billion engagements each year.

The unique appeal of WWE

There are many elements that go into creating the huge appeal of WWE. The first of these has to be the participants themselves.

Each one has their own distinctive character and personality. Leading the way is surely John Cena who boasts over 13 million followers on X, formerly Twitter. Along with others including Roman Reigns, Charlotte Flair and Asuka these make up a cast who are bound to be favorites for particular fans.

Then there’s the sheer spectacle of the event itself. With feuds, rivalries and other long-standing grudges it’s the perfect piece of sporting theater.

And if, as Marshall McLuhan told us, “the medium is the message” there’s no doubting the fact that an NFL mega stadium is the best place to provide the performance.

Stadiums of success

Obviously, the use of stadiums goes back to 2016 and the previously mentioned Wrestlemania 32. But recent times have seen an increasing use of these mega venues.

The 2022 season saw the SummerSlam being held at the Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. With Roman Reigns heading the eight fight card, it was attended by no less than 48,449 fans – not a capacity crowd, maybe, but one that would be almost impossible to accommodate anywhere other than in a major sports stadium.

However, a few weeks earlier a valuable lesson was learned about matching the event to the venue.

Originally, the Money in the Bank event was set to be held in the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. However the ticket sales fell way short of the numbers that will be snapped up by the fans for next February’s Super Bowl and who, no doubt, will also be taking a keen interest in the.

The organisers of Money in the Bank had also taken a gamble themselves on being able to sell a good proportion of the 65,000 seats. But, as it emerged, only 12,076 fans wanted to see the event live, highlighting the fact that WWE is a long way behind sports like football in terms of popularity in the US, where the Super Bowl could sell a 65,000 capacity hundreds of times over. The unpredictable nature of the Super Bowl odds probably has a big part to play here!

As a result, the Money in the Bank event was moved to the MGM Grand Guardian Arena where they filled most of its 15,000 seat capacity.

Thus, a potentially embarrassing situation was averted. After all, an 80% empty football stadium would hardly have generated the atmosphere and emotion that any WWE event needs if it’s going to succeed.

Other possible stadiums

If numbers are an issue then it might be best to start looking at some of the country’s smaller NFL stadiums. In this respect, there’s one that stands out above, or possibly below, the rest. With a capacity of a little over 61.000 the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field is the smallest in the country. The only drawback might be the Michigan weather – so it would undoubtedly have to be a summer-based event.

Somewhere this would certainly not be the case would be the Arizona Cardinals’ State Farm Stadium, venue for the 2023 Super Bowl. Its 63,400 capacity would make it perfect for an event like Wrestlemania – although it would present more travel obstacles for fans wanting to make their way to the Grand Canyon State to attend.

For a truly iconic event, whenever that may come round, then perhaps WWE should aim really big and go for the largest stadium out there. New York’s MetLife Stadium isn’t just home to the Giants and the Jets. It can also hold over 82,000 fans. Ambitious maybe, but definitely one to consider for the future.

With the sport’s popularity growing by the year this might come sooner than we expect – and for fans of the fighters involved it won’t be a moment too soon.

Comments are closed.