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SummerSlam: Bigger Stage Needed

WWE
Every fan of WWE should be aware of the so-called “Big Four” PPV events. SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and of course, WrestleMania. These should perhaps be more accurately called the first four, but they are practically sacred events on the WWE calendar (even if the actual cards aren’t always given such reverence, but that’s another topic for another time).

So, if these are truly supposed to be the big four, then why is only one ever put together on a massive scale? Now, of course, it wasn’t always the case, ‘Mania being staged in massive stadiums-I was at WrestleMania in Philly, where the arena fit just around 20,000. And of course, it’s come to us from MSG and other venues that would hardly be considered for the biggest event of the year anymore. But now, of course, it’s in buildings so big we get massive crowds. That’s all well and good, sure. And perhaps Survivor Series and Royal Rumble would be hard to do in similar facilities (though I bet, if booked and marketed correctly, they could fill a bigger arena), but I just think it’s time to get SummerSlam in a similar setting. Why shouldn’t WWE have two massive stadium shows per year?

Look, there’s nothing wrong with Brooklyn as a site. Or LA before it. But, with each of those sites, your max attendance sits at roughly 20,000 fans. Considering how it’s billed as the biggest party of the Summer, and considering the demand for tickets to WrestleMania, I have to think that, if the executives in Stamford were inclined to do so, that they could put SummerSlam in a bigger venue.

Though, with that said, I have some conditions.

For one thing, it’s the Summer. This has a couple implications. For one, the weather-it could be ridiculously hot, or humid, or of course, unpleasantly raining and storming-and no one wants to be in those conditions. For another, mid-to-late August is a challenging time due to football and baseball happening, plus touring concerts and other stadium shows. So it is, admittedly, challenging. But, it is not impossible.

So, how do you address this?

One option, of course, would be to go international again. The biggest crowd for SummerSlam remains the turnout in England that filled Wembley Stadium, though WWE undoubtedly has concerns about the time differences. So, if you don’t wish to consider that, there are other options, generally within the same time zones as within the continental United States. For one, you could consider an MLS stadium-several franchises do have dedicated arenas that, while being outdoors, represent a bigger capacity than that of an indoor facility, but still smaller than those that WrestleMania would occupy. This would likely make WWE happy, as it would keep ‘Mania on it’s own attendance pedestal.¬† Or, consider a soccer stadium in Mexico or South America, which would give you both the capacity and a new, international location. But, you’d still have to contend with weather.

Or, take a look at some indoor stadiums. There are a number of facilities that have domes, or now, retractable roofs, which takes the concerns over weather out of the equation. The downside here, of course, is that you’d be putting on a show in a building that might have only been considered for WrestleMania, but on the flip side, if WWE were able to sell 80,000 tickets for SummerSlam, instead of 22,000…I have to imagine they’d be OK with the trade-off. Or, to use a very specific example, to satisfy the indoor requirement and be of a lesser capacity than a typical WrestleMania venue, look at a facility like BC Place, which would get over 50,000 fans for the show, is indoors, and also international (not that it has to be international, but it’s been a really long time since a major WWE PPV has been outside the US).

The other challenge, of course, is that Creative would need to book it on par with a WrestleMania. But, I fail to see how that’s really a drawback, all things considered.

WNZ readers, do you think SummerSlam deserves to be put on in a bigger setting?

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