WWE’s live event attendance issues continued this week in Manchester, England.
According to several correspondents, there were empty floor seats and there were large sections blocked off. We were told that fans were moved to so that seats in front of the hard camera could be filled.
The story for SmackDown Live in Machester was worse. One person estimated less than 5,000 fans in attendance and there were more blocked off sections than there were for Raw. It looks worse for WWE because they only go to England once per year so it’s not as if they have burned out their fans with too many live events. It’s a big sign that the TV product is stale and fans don’t see a need to go see WWE in person.
Check out this photo that was taken before the tapings began and scroll down for video of the crowd as the tapings started.
#SDLive #WWEManchester #WWE spoilers. Less than 5,000 expected tonight. WWE have taped off an entire side of the area and are reassigning ticket holders to camera facing side. Poorest TV attendance I’ve ever seen here. pic.twitter.com/bg1yrXUbKE
— Matty Paddock (@MattyPaddock) November 6, 2018
Never seen this many seats/blocks tarped off at a WWE show before. The entire of the upper tier is fairly common for SmackDown but nearly half the lower tier is. That’s what happens when tickets are ridiculously priced #WWEManchester pic.twitter.com/aQPcDqva8O
— Oli (@Oli_Row) November 6, 2018
WWE has recognized that they need to do more to boost live attendance. During the recent investor conference call, Vince McMahon said that they have figured the problem with the declining attendance and they have plans to fix it. McMahon said that the company would be “reimagining” live events in 2019.
The majority of WWE’s revenue is coming from their TV deals so they have nothing to worry about in regards to money coming in. Live attendance is barely breaking even so it will be interesting to see what WWE does to fix that.