If WWE visited your town recently, attendance was probably higher than last time: Market-to-market live event analysis for WWE and AEW

By Brandon Thurston and Jason Ounpraseuth

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Our market-to-market analysis shows that same-type WWE events have mostly (13 out of 18 times) performed better in 2023 than the prior time a comparable event was in the city. In many cases, these events had the possible benefit of occurring in Q1, which is usually a good season for attendance.

In AEW’s case, there are fewer recent market-to-market comparisons, but AEW’s returns to most markets since late last year have been in front of smaller crowds versus the company’s prior visit for the same-type event.

Why doing it this way makes for a fairer analysis

When we try to make sense of attendance numbers (here, WrestleTix estimates of ticket maps), it’s important to keep in mind at least three factors that influence attendance:

  1. Market (i.e., city or region): Different markets have different populations, different levels of enthusiasm for wrestling, and different economic conditions.
  2. Event type: Different event types sell differently. Televised events usually sell better than house shows, and pay-per-view/PLEs usually sell best of all.
  3. Season (i.e., quarter-year): Historically, in WWE’s case, Q1 and Q4 perform better than Q2 and Q3 for at least two possible reasons. Indoor entertainment tends to do better business during colder months. WWE runs a string of events around Christmas in major markets that often do well. And Q1 is thought to do well partly because of increased interest in events during the lead-up to Wrestlemania.
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