Last week, WWE announced Money in the Bank would no longer occur at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. MGM Grand Garden Arena will now host the premium live event. Reportedly, lower-than-expected ticket sales caused the shift in venue.
WrestlingObserver.com reported that WWE decided two weeks before they sent an email to ticket holders on 5/26 notifying them of the change. Original patrons get first dibs for new tickets on June 3. However, there is a catch.
30,000 Allegiant Stadium ticket holders will vie for 14,000 tickets to the smaller MGM Grand. Sadly, some people will miss out on attending the show and will have to cancel plane tickets and hotel reservations. Presale codes went out to Allegiant ticket holders a day before the general on-sale date, but they are easy for anyone to obtain.
Promotional material for Money in the Bank changed along with the venue, and there’s a noticeable difference in star power.
It’s what happens when only 30,000 tickets are sold in a 70,000-seat football stadium. Plus, UFC is running on the same night, in Vegas, at the T-Mobile Arena. UFC 276 is the culmination of their fan fest, International Fight Week.
In 1991, WrestleMania 7 moved from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to the Los Angeles Sports Arena due to poor ticket sales. However, the company cited safety concerns for Sgt. Slaughter, who was portraying an Iraqi sympathizer during the Gulf War.
WWE president Nick Khan said the company plans on running more stadium shows. The goal is to have every pay-per-view, now called premium live events, held in a stadium instead of an arena. It is a good idea on paper, but it needs better execution.
WWE announced Money in the Bank for Allegiant Stadium last August, but tickets didn’t go on sale until March 17. UFC 276 was announced on January 22, and tickets went on sale on March 13.
Another problem is WWE also competed with itself. SummerSlam was announced last October to emanate from Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 30. Tickets went on sale in April.
Twenty-eight days apart, two stadium shows are a lot to ask of the consumer. Some can afford to travel and attend both, while most must pick one of the other. The combination of event and location also plays a role. Some might decide based on location over event, while others choose event over location.
Perhaps, WWE overestimated the significance of Money in the Bank. Many believe the ladder-filled feature has supplanted Survivor Series as one of the “BIG 4” events. Whether it did or did not, SummerSlam is the second biggest event of the year.
You’d think WWE would know better than to ask so much of the consumer considering they had difficulty getting people to pay $9.99 a month for the WWE Network before it was sold to NBC Peacock.
WWE is making more money than ever before, but its revenue is predominately from licensing and television deals. Ticket and merchandise sales make up a small chunk of their revenue by comparison.
Popularity with corporations is different from popularity among consumers. Hopefully, WWE will remember that going forward.