Hello there fellow Bleachers!
I’m Alex Guy and I welcome you to the fourth article in my "WWE WrestleMania Outside Of North America?" series. If you haven’t seen the previous three, now would be an excellent time to visit my profile and check them out. If you have been following the series, firstly, thank you, and I hope you’ve been looking forward to this installment.
In my very first article in the series, "WWE WrestleMania Outside Of North America? Weighing The Pros And Cons", I mentioned three pros and three cons of the possibility of setting up the grandest stage of them all outside of North America, the more alert of the series' followers will have noticed that the following two slideshows addressed two of the cons mentioned and, true to form, this article will address the third, perhaps the biggest stumbling block to WrestleMania being held outside of North America.
The single biggest night in the sports entertainment calendar is so called due to many factors, fan interest, spectacle and, of course, cash. In The WWE, every single road leads to WrestleMania, every event that happens throughout the year is, in one way another, build up to the PPV globally known as "The Big One". On the road to WrestleMania, a lot of money is spent, a lot of money is made, but on this night, WWE always expects, and is generally guaranteed, its biggest PPV haul of the year.
Firstly, lets have a look at the expenditures and incomes WWE can expect from WrestleMania week. Of course, the majority of these will apply to all TV broadcasts and PPV’s, but everything’s bigger at WrestleMania!
Hire Of Venues
WWE Staff Wages, Expenses and Bonuses
External Staff Wages (e.g. Contractors, drivers etc.)
Visual Effects (e.g. Pyrotechnics, dry ice etc.)
Materials (From metals required to fabricate the set to the thread on clothing)
Travel Packages (Fees paid to various travel companies)
Media Coverage (TV broadcast costs, buying time slots etc.)
Special Guest Appearances
Admission Fees (To WrestleMania, events throughout WrestleMania week etc.)
Travel Packages (Fees paid by customers)
Media Coverage (Superstars fees for appearing on Radio, TV etc.)
Feel free to add any you feel I may have missed in the comments section
As you can see, there are a greater number of expenditures than incomes, however, the incomes more than cover those expenditures and then some. The point I’m trying to make here is, when holding WrestleMania in North America, WWE knows what to expect, they have a tried and tested method to make sure they always get "The Big One" churning out the dollars year after year.
So what would happen if the WWE were to take that step into the unknown? Would the money still come flooding in at a monsoon-like rate? Let’s examine…
As I’ve discussed in a previous slideshow, North American buy rates would most definitely be down, there is no doubting that, not amongst the hardcore wrestling fans, but amongst the casual and one-off fans. WrestleMania often caters to the casual audience by organising high profile celebrity appearances, whether this is to sing the American national anthem or to be a part of the show itself. Celebrity appearances command high fees, which is why we only see them at high-drawing PPV’s and we certainly don’t see guest hosts on RAW as much as we used to.
This might seem a bit of an odd suggestion due to the spectacle that WrestleMania has become, but, would it be possible to have a WrestleMania with no celebrity appearances and for it to still be effective?
As I’ve previously stated, casual and one-off buys from the North American audience would be down, but I’m certain that the majority of the diehard wrestling fans would appreciate an event where we didn’t have to watch Snooki or some other TV personality ‘wrestle’.
Looking at it from a business point of view, this is actually not such a bad idea either, the ridiculously high fees for celebrity appearances are eliminated, thus reducing the need for such a high buy rate to cover the cost! Thus making a WrestleMania outside of North America the perfect opportunity to see if "The Big One" could still produce with either no or severely reduced celebrity appearances.
Another massive cost to the WWE is the amount of media buzz that WrestleMania generates, whilst in the most part, this is a good thing, there are costs incurred. Hiring venues, travel costs, superstar appearances and utility costs are just some of the expenditures that increase due to the frenzy that WrestleMania causes, all of which affects the final profit. The North American audience expects a boatload of events from their company and, year upon year, the WWE is pressured to deliver.
When taking pre-WrestleMania events out of North America, that fan base is taken out of the equation, as WrestleMania has never been held out of North America before, would this prevent the perfect opportunity for WWE to cut some costs by cutting a few events from WrestleMania week?
Although this seems harsh on the international fans, they have no idea what to expect from WrestleMania week. It may seem a touch underhanded from the WWE, but removing a few events from WrestleMania week isn’t going to deter the international audience from enjoying their experience to the full, plus, WWE maximizes its profit.
The final cost I am going to mention is transportation, for WrestleManias held in North America, it’s a case of putting the set and staff into their respective trucks, trains and planes and travelling internally in journeys that are unlikely to take up much time and, more importantly, cost a vast amount of money. When holding a WrestleMania outside of North America, travel times and costs increase. Simple.
Although WWE is likely to take a hit here, measures can be taken to soften the blow. Have the set fabricated in the country they intent to hold the event in, travel as light as possible, avoiding excess tonnage costs and have the staff travel in one large group (or as large groups as possible) group discounts apply to normal people and Superstars alike!
Cost to the company is always, in my mind, the biggest factor as to why WWE is reluctant to hold WrestleMania outside of North America. For all of you out there who thought the same, I hope this slideshow has shown you that, as slight or as harsh as they may be, changes can be made to take down the increased cost of an international WrestleMania, which in turn increases the chances that WWE will choose to hold a WrestleMania outside of North America.
As is always here on Bleacher Report, the comment box is there for a reason, so feel free to have your say. Do you agree with my cost-cutting measures? What would you do to decrease the rise in costs?
As always, your constructive feedback and suggestions for future articles are welcome.
I have now addressed all three cons from my initial slideshow (phew!) thus meaning the series is drawing to a close (booo!). There is one more article left for me to write, so stay tuned for the conclusion of "WWE WrestleMania Outside Of North America"!