I was at the WWE RAW house show Sunday in New Orleans and the attendance was bad as 2,109 showed up in an arena that seats 17,000. I noticed on RAW last night in Dallas the entire upperdeck was blacked out. This is beginning to look like the last days of WCW/Turner days. I give up on what needs to be done to make the WWE a better product. Does anyone have any ideas?
Well, shouldn't they start booking smaller venues if they're having trouble attendance wise?
As for what they can do...I don't know either. Recombine the rosters. Get rid of the deadweight. Put on solid 10 minute plus matches on a regular basis. Forget the women's division completely. Lower pay-per-view prices. Start over from scratch?
I feel whatever needs to be done (if anyone can figure that out), won't. Why?
I've been thinking: the economy is bad, the product sucks, and hardly anyone's coming to the shows. What's the answer? Yes, smaller arenas.
Remember when Raw first started and it was held in that small theater in New York? Man, that place had class. The fans were RIGHT THERE with the wrestlers and could really feel like they were a part of the action. I suppose that's one of the reasons ECW was so attractive as well. It may not look as impressive on TV, but hell, we're watching for the wrestling right? Not for a bunch of stupid fans. Why can't that be done now? Some people may not go because it would not have that "huge arena" energy and vibe, and it may look bad on the WWE to downsize to small arenas, but I know I would like to attend a show like that. The last time I went to Raw, I was about seven rows from the top of the stadium and I was bored as hell. I would gladly GLADLY pay more money for a smaller venue where I could actually see the wrestlers and maybe interact with them.
So my plan: 1. Move it to smaller arenas, a la early Raw. 2. Give the fans a reason to care and show up by having stuff like Fan Axxess every Raw and Smackdown. Let them meet the wrestlers and get autographs. I like meeting any wrestler - it doesn't have to be the Rock. I met Vincent and Raven once and I turned into a pile of Jell-O.
YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME!?! - The immortal, chilling words of...The Shockmaster!
Smaller Arenas?? Like The ECW Bingo Halls? A thought came to my mind. Maybe they should take the summer off and return in the fall. That gives the writing staff 3 months to come up with something good.
Why drop the womens division? Besides the past two weeks it has been one of the best things going for the WWE in recent months and has been bringing in a whole new angle of fan interest. What they need to drop is the whole "Let's show skin and that will get ratings" idea, cause it just doesn't work that way anymore in post-9/11 America. Vince's argument that "We're just giving the fans what they want" just doesn't fly if you listen to the crowds and read the internet posts on this stuff. Drop that crap altogether and continue to build a solid womens division, as much as the testosterone-filled egomaniacs in the WWE and in the top brass may hate to see it.
If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. -Willy Wonka
I remember watching the WWF some 20 years ago, when they weren't shooting in those huge venues, and all the wrestling seemed alot more intimate. That quality just doesnt seem to be in the current product.
They could also bring back the BIG RED X BLOOD CENSOR! Then you'd have to go to the arenas to see the the bloody mess that you couldnt catch on TV.
I think the problem comes down to coherent storylines and characters and the fans are showing their disapproval with the product by taking their entertainment dollars elsewhere. The product used to be edgy but now they just rehash the same storylines from 3-5 years ago. Are they giving me any reason to care about the characters? While I like seeing the characters on TV is there any really care about them? Are they giving me any reason to watch week after week?
Prime evil of Kaiju Big Battel is very mysterious and expensive doctor.
Attendance isn't just down in wrestling. I'm fairly certain the Nets weren't selling out a lot of their playoff games (though, I would have to believe the NBA Finals games there might sell out)... Anyway, baseball attendance is down as well, despite a kick-ass 2001 season.
Back to the problems for The Fed...
I don't think going to 1,000 seat bingo halls is the answer. But then again, staying in 15,000-20,000 arenas doesn't really look good on TV either.
I think going to mid-sized arenas might be better, at least for Raw and SmackDown. Think the 7000-8000 seat range. Once in a while, have one of the TV shows in an MSG or Arrowhead Pond-sized venue, but primarily save those for PPV. I think WM can stay at the big-ass domes for now, but then again, we'll see.
On a side note, having the upper deck empty at Raw produced one positive result. They turned off those damn lights that shine on the crowd. If you are sitting anywhere from the mid-level and up in an arena for a televised event, those lights are a BITCH to deal with.
Another thing, why are they waiting until like a month before an event to start selling tickets? I remember for the first Raw here in Cleveland, they had tickets on sale like 5 months before. Is there a benefit to severely limiting your ticket selling time?
Remember that they've got to book a lot of these arenas for TVs around 6 months in advance, or at least be talking to people about dates for them. 6 months ago, they probably thought that with the split they'd be doing monster numbers and selling out these places.
If anyone wants to know if they've learned their leasons about getting places too big to sell-out, the WWE is aparently looking to come here to Winnipeg Manitoba for a TV early next year... WINNIPEG!!! It doesn't get much smaller than that!
Could be worse. They could be in Medicine Hat. Maybe Moose Jaw. Or they could do what WCW did and hold a show in Kitchener. I almost went to that one since I was going to the University of Waterloo at the time, but then I remembered that there wasn't anything about WCW I wanted to pay for.
"Go for the eyes, Boo! GO FOR THE EYES! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" - Minsc, Baldur's Gate.
SmackDown here in Calgary last week had about 10,000...while the RAW they had here 1 year ago to the day sold out. Most of the top level of the Saddledome was curtained off for SmackDown.
Is booking smaller venues the answer? That would limit the cities you could go to, first off. Cities that have arens that size would most likely have a smaller population base to start with, wouldn't they? And do all of the major cities have venues meeting that criteria?
Is booking smaller venues the answer? That would limit the cities you could go to, first off. Cities that have arens that size would most likely have a smaller population base to start with, wouldn't they? And do all of the major cities have venues meeting that criteria
Most cities that have large arenas also have smaller ones. Chicago has the United Center (Where the Bulls play), but it also has the U of I circle campus arena (I forget the name, but there were early Nitros there). LA has the Staples center, but it also has several smaller arenas, including the old Forum (I believe it's still extant). Same for NYC.
But look at recent dates anyway. Austin Tx, Calgary BC, Charlotte NC - and right here in Louisville KY - and others. There're not exactly top 20 markets anyway...
By the way, here, the show was in the 15,000+ seat freedom hall. I was out of town so I didn't go. I don't know what the attendance was. Right next door, there's a 5000 seat place called the Broadbent Arena. WCW ran shows there, as did WWF in the early 90s.
The old Louisville Gardens was about 2500 seats. Jerry and his USWA ran shows there for years and years. Closed now.
The OVW is here and runs shows in an old warehouse. Maybe 300 seats. 2/3 full.....
(edited by AWArulz on 5.6.02 0826)
(edited by AWArulz on 5.6.02 0826) You Humanoids will believe anything!
The problem with attendance is affecting all forms of sport. With ticket prices high, and so much competition and it being summer, no one really wants to sit in a cramped arena, having 15 year old girls holding up "Hardyz are sexyz" signs so they can't see and having fat drunk guys spilling beer all over them while chanting "What?" and having to sit through endless bad skits involving D-Von and Maven. Going to RAW and Smackdown has to feel like an event to the purchasing customer and lately, due to lousy programming, it just doesn't feel that way.
As for the product itself, I have no idea what they can do. One thing they have to stop are these endless backstage segments. It kills the crowd to sit and watch a screen for 30-45 minutes, then expect them to get excited about watching Big Show vs. Bradshaw. Another thing they really have to do is elevate talent, and not the "Put them over Angle/work a one month program with Austin" elevation. For all the push they've been giving Edge, a clean pinfall victory over the Undertaker in a 10-15 minute match would have done him MILES better than where he is now.
By the way, Storm's gimmick includes 1.) telling the audience to shut up, and 2.) occasionally making everyone stand for the Canadian national anthem. You know they don't know what to do with a wrestler when he's making fans stand for a national anthem. It's like waving a white flag and saying, "This guy has no personality -- we give up."
I live in Baltimore and the Arena is smaller and older. You are right on top of the ring and the atmosphere is always electric.
If the Fed would create new stars to counteract the "my favorite person isn't even on this roster" effect by having better shows attendance will pick up slightly I'd wager.
Plus, the shows need to stop sucking. Nobody likes a loser. I won't pay a dime to see the Orioles when they are blowing chunks for extended periods of time. Catch me when they get competitive again. Same with RAW and SD! for folks, I'd bet.
Plus, more than a few people are probably feeling the economic squeeze. It's hard to shell out $25 a ticket when you got bills to pay. And its even harder to rationalize spending bill money on a sub-par product.
I agree that the tix prices are a little high. $40,$30,$20 for a house show and up to $300 for a PPV is little much in our area.
Yes the split does stink because you do not see your favorite superstars such as in our area which is a more older (Hogan) viewer crowd. They gave us the RAW brand instead of the Smackdown houseshow last Sunday which maybe why we had a low turnout.
Well, I've seen them when they do tv here in Chicago almost every time over the last 6-7 years. But when they do SD! here next month, I'll be likely sitting at home, for a couple of reasons.
-The split. If they had done Raw here, I would have gone. As right now the people I like to watch live are Flair, RVD, Eddy, Bubba, Benoit, Lesnar, Regal, Booker, Trish, Jericho, Tajiri, Angle and Maven. That list is skewed quite heavily to Raw. And the people I can't stand are UT, Hogan, Vince, and HHH. Note the skewing to SD on that one.
-Predictability. I know basically what I'm going to see, or more accurately not going to see if I go, esp. to SD. I'll see HHH going over Jericho and/or Angle. Vince leering at women. Hogan getting the nostalgia pop. Nothing looks all that fresh or interesting here. The HHH brothers have killed all my possible interest in that show, no matter how many Edge/Angle matches they put on which we all know will mean nothing in the end.
-Fans. You know, wrestling fans can be a pain in the ass. I don't want to hear them bellowing WHAT every 8 seconds. I don't want a group of obnoxious thirteen yr olds with a sign saying "We want pupies!" or "Riko's Gay!" blocking my view when they're not even freaking in camera view! It's a pain to go to these things, so you really have to be looking forward to being blown away.
-Cost. And for all of the above, if I want to see a damn thing, I gotta shell $35-45 out. I'm sorry, but if I have to choose where my $40 is going, I think the upcoming Unlimited Sunshine tour will win over watching HHH do the roid rage pose over Jericho.
How's your new love?/I hope he's doin' fine/Heard you told him that you'd love him 'till the end of time/Now, that's the same thing/the same thing you told me seems like just the other day/Gee ain't it funny, funny how time slips away? - Willie Nelson tells the truth.
"I thought it was cool how HHH just tossed Jericho out of the ring and made him vanish, possibly into another dimension, at the end of the match." - Dr. Unlikely says the funniest thing I've ever read on Wienerville
I agree with Cajun. I think paying close to $30 bucks for seats that are a mile away is ridiculous.
Seems like the tickets I bought were $28 and we were in the upper section of the place. Add a few dollars for the shipping charges and another $20 for gas, food, etc., you're talking about blowing $50-$75 bones on two hours worth of mediocre entertainment that you can barely see.
I personally would rather watch it on TV. You can see everything better and you can hear the back stage skits. The live atmosphere is cool and all, but it's not worth THAT much.
Amen. I have ZERO interest in Smackdown right now, so I'm glad I don't get UPN in my area. The split doesn't bother me at all because I'm glad the kick ass stuff (what little there is) is on Raw. Smackdown was filmed in OKC last night, which is two hours from my house, but I decided not to go because of:
1. The cost 2. The sucky roster (HHH, Hogan, Hurricane, Test, Mark Henry, etc. ad infinitum ad naseum) I would have gone had it been Raw. 3. I never get good seats.
I mind paying the exhorbitant cost right now for the big stadium shows because I agree with Salami and others: you can't see a damn thing most of the time, you can't hear the skits (which is 90 percent of the show) and most of all, the fans. There's only so many Team XTreme hands you can have stuck up your nose before it pisses you off.
On the other hand, put the show in a smaller venue where I can see and hear the action without feeling like I'm on Mt. Everest, and give me a chance to meet the wrestlers, and I'll pay $50 to see it. No problem. I don't care if it's in a bingo hall or not - I'll gladly "slum it."
YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME!?! - The immortal, chilling words of...The Shockmaster!
Since that's coming up as a Geoshitties page, I will recommend searching rec.sport.pro-wrestling on Google for both live ECW arena reports and TV show reports. It's my favorite tool for wrestling research.