WWE live event ticket revenue increased 5 percent to $151.7 million, up from $144.4 million in 2016. There were 40 additional live events (34 in North America, 6 International), but that was partially offset by an 8 percent decline in average attendance.
Venue merchandise sales were effectively even, with $23.8 million in sales in 2017 compared to $24.2 million in 2016.
Keller’s Analysis: The 8 percent decline in attendance can be attributed to various possible causes, such as running the same arena four times on big PPV weekends with declining attendance (but overall cost savings due to the production set-up expenses being drastically reduced and travel expenses being eliminated from moving to another city). It can be attributed to injuries, fewer John Cena advertised appearances, and the cycle of cities they happened to visit in the comparable 12 month periods. It’s enough of a drop to be worth watching each quarter this year to see if it continued to drop or is offset by some increases.