WWE isn’t the only sports organization to exaggerate about event attendance but they sure love to use exaggerated numbers as a marketing tool for the company.
Before the COVID pandemic, when WrestleMania was at sold out NFL stadiums, WWE would typically inflate the attendance figure and remark that WrestleMania broke attendance records at that stadium.
With a pandemic capping attendance to around 25,000 people per night, there was theoretically no need to exaggerate attendance figures for this year’s two-night WrestleMania 37 but old habits die hard I guess.
According to Wrestlenomics‘ Brandon Thurston via a records request to the Tampa Sports Authority, he found out that the partially rain delayed night one had 18,328 people actually in attendance while 18,924 people attended night two. Both nights, WWE announced a sold out crowd of 25,675 people per night. It should be noted that WWE reports the actual numbers in their stockholder financial reports.
WWE’s failure to sell 25,000 seats for WrestleMania may not have been their fault. In addition to people just flat out being reluctant to travel during a pandemic, WWE had tickets for sale a little over three weeks from WrestleMania taking place. Even for those who are cool with traveling to Tampa, that’s a very tight turnaround time to figure out transportation and a hotel for WrestleMania weekend. With attendance being more limited to a local crowd, it suddenly gets more difficult to get people to attend.
While I get the point of WWE revealing high attendance figures in past years, it really wasn’t needed this year. A WrestleMania capped at 25,000 fans won’t break any attendance records and viewers were going to assume that WWE sold all the tickets anyway. The “25,675” number was random and unnecessary but that’s what WWE does sometimes.