The dust has yet to settle on WrestleMania 29, and already, the WWE has announced that the event is the company's highest-grossing live event. But not only did the event set a record for the WWE itself but also for MetLife Stadium.
According to a press release from the WWE Corporate website, WrestleMania 29 earned an estimated $12.3 million. Additionally, the event broke the record for MetLife Stadium's highest-grossing entertainment event, $8.9 million set by a 2011 U2 concert.
The press release says, in part:
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – April 7, 2013 – WWE® (NYSE: WWE) announced tonight that WrestleMania 29 became the highest grossing live event in its history and broke the record for MetLife Stadium’s highest grossing entertainment event. WWE’s annual pop-culture extravaganza grossed $12.3 million, as 80,676 fans from all 50 states and 34 countries converged on MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The event is broadcast around the world on pay-per-view in more than 100 countries and 20 languages.
(The full text of the press release can found on Lordsofpain.net.)
Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, commented in the press release:
On behalf of the great state of New Jersey, I want to thank all of the fans that came from around the world to beautiful MetLife Stadium for WrestleMania 29...WWE put on a show like no other and electrified the capacity crowd.
Indeed they did. Even though the event featured several rematches from previous years, the WWE lured 80,676 fans to watch the show live. This attendance figure makes WrestleMania 29 the second-highest grossing WrestleMania in the history of the show.
WrestleMania III holds the top spot. Held at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, the third installment of the WWE's biggest show drew an astounding 93,173. The main event featured Hulk Hogan taking on Andre the Giant.
It was an indoor sporting event record until the 2010 NBA All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium drew 108,713.
Rounding out the top five for WrestleMania are WrestleMania 23 (80,103), WrestleMania 28 (78,363) and WrestleMania 24 (74,635).
What this means is the WWE's biggest show is just that. But how much of that is from the matches presented or from it being the biggest, most promoted, celebrity-infused show of the year in professional wrestling is unknown.
But it doesn't really matter. WrestleMania generating this much attention, for whatever reason, is great news for both the WWE and wrestling in general. As a niche spectacle, it goes to show that, if need be, both the WWE and the sport can be seen as something more than cartoon characters fake fighting.
It can be an entertainment event that captures the imagination of those who watch the sport.
Wrestling is more than just athleticism and over-the-top performers. It's also about telling a story and connecting emotionally.
Everyone loves a good story, and WrestleMania shows that everyone loves wrestling.