In response to a public records request about the attendance for AEW All In on August 27, the Freedom of Information office for the Brent Civic Centre responded today:
“The actual numbers registered entering [Wembley] Stadium through the turnstiles was 72,265 – this is reflective of what attended on the night and not the total number of tickets sold or no-shows etc.”
AEW announced the paid attendance for the event was 81,035, and called it a new worldwide record for pro wrestling.
The final estimate from WrestleTix of tickets distributed for All In was 83,131.
Wrestlenomics was told by a source that a typical AEW event has a drop count (also known as a “turnstile count”) that is about 80% to 90% of the paid attendance or tickets distributed. In this case, 72,265 is 87% of 83,131 (estimated tickets distributed) and 89% of 81,035 (announced paid attendance).
“Turnstile count” or “drop count” simply refers to the number of tickets scanned as attendees enter the building, not necessarily as they go through physical turnstiles which many venues don’t use.
The turnstile count for WWE’s Wrestlemania 32 in 2016 in Arlington, Texas, was higher than All In’s number. The number of fans who entered the building for Wrestlemania 32 was 80,709, according to the Arlington Police, a number more than 8,000 higher than 72,265.
It’s unclear how suite attendees may weigh into the numbers for either event.
WWE’s public disclosures of quarterly average attendance (reported both with and without Wrestlemania) put the range for Wrestlemania 32’s paid attendance somewhere between 73,711 and 85,888. WWE famously announced 101,763 attendees, a number Vince McMahon later admitted included “ushers and ticket takers and all of that”. Nonetheless, it’s unclear whether All In 2023 or Wrestlemania 32 had the higher number of ticket sales.
Wrestlemania 3 in Pontiac, Michigan in 1987 is in the conversation, too, for verifiable most-attended pro wrestling events ever — outside of North Korea. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported paid attendance for Wrestlemania 3 was 75,800 and total attendance was about 78,000. Though, if the event was a sell-out, I believe the number could be higher.
The request and response related to All In can be read on whatdotheyknow.com, a website that helps visitors request information from United Kingdom government entities. You can find at least one other case on the site, from 2018, when the same government entity provided an attendance number for an event at Wembley Stadium.
The Brent Civic Centre provides public services for the Brent London Borough, where Wembley Stadium is located.
The following edits were made on Sept. 14, 2023: 1) A paragraph was added explaining the meaning of “turnstile count”. 2) 72,265 as a percentage of tickets distributed (83,131) was corrected to 87%; it was previously incorrectly represented as 89%, which is the drop count (72,265) as a percentage of announced paid attendance (81,035).
Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.
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