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The Cost of WrestleMania, 10-Week Wrap-up: WWE Nears Sell-out at AT&T Stadium
WWE set it sights on AT&T Stadium in Dallas with one goal in mind: to put 100,000 fans in seats. While the actual number of fans in attendance remains to be seen, WWE has done an amazing job of nearly selling out one of the largest football stadiums in the U.S.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the only seats that remained for WrestleMania 32 through Ticketmaster were expensive floor seats in Section E. Tickets in Row H were $2,360 each, while tickets in Row K were $1,180 each. The Wrestling Observer recently reported that WWE has sold in excess of 80,000 tickets for WrestleMania 32. Scattered tickets may pop up here and there over the next couple days as the entrance stage is put into place, but WWE is almost assured of a sell-out in Dallas.
Over the last 10 weeks, there have been 387 completed listings for WrestleMania 32 tickets on eBay. This includes tickets for Mania itself, the Hall of Fame, Axxess, and Raw.
Fans who missed out on Ticketmaster sales and had to turn to eBay for tickets paid about 30 percent more on average.
Lower priced tickets generally experienced a much greater mark-up (75-90 percent) than higher priced tickets. Some sellers who bought expensive floor seats and sold them on eBay took a significant hit, often at a loss of 20-25 percent.
The idea for this series began prior to the Royal Rumble in January, when many fans I had spoken with were contemplating selling their WrestleMania tickets on eBay. The number of injuries to top wrestlers, WWE’s poor creative, and fans’s frustration with Roman Reigns had many people wondering if the big Dallas show would flop. Apparently, there was never a chance of that happening.
Say what you will about WWE’s horrendous creative efforts, but the company has done an amazing job of establishing brand loyalty and building up equity in the WrestleMania name.
The Mania card is full of matches that aren’t compelling and wrestlers who aren’t over because of 50/50 booking and over-exposure in the Three-Hour Raw Era. The show is being main-evented by a 51-year-old legend, a 46-year-old executive, his 46-year-old non-wrestler brother-in-law, and a 30-year-old babyface who has been completely rejected by the vocal male portion of the audience. And none of that matters.
WrestleMania is no longer about one wrestling card; it’s become a social event where fans go to completely immerse themselves in the WrestleMania experience.
Millennials who don’t have family obligations will spend thousands of dollars on travel and tickets. Younger parents plan their WrestleMania weekend with their children the way many others plan a trip to Disneyland in the summer. WrestleMania isn’t just a big show at the local arena – it’s become a destination.