WWE: How Concerned Should We Be over WWE's Recent Attendance Woes?
Every week it's getting easier to notice. Whether it be Smackdown, Raw, even some PPV's, very rarely do you see a WWE event fill every section of an arena nowadays.
There has been some talk over this issue recently, such as when the WWE went to Dayton, Ohio, where the entire upper bowl was closed off and the non-camera side was entirely empty.
It used to be when a WWE event came to a town, the WWE would take over that town. For one night, it was the hottest ticket in town. It didn't matter whether it was a PPV, Raw, Smackdown or even a house show, it would sell out.
Jim Ross used to always announce a sellout, and then announce the attendance figure. Nowadays, Michael Cole is still pronouncing a sellout, but it's kinda hard not to sell out when 50 percent of the arena is closed down. And God forbid he announce the horrid attendance figures.
It's hard to watch Raw or Smackdown when there is no crowd reaction, and, in general, no crowd at all. For the superstars, it must almost be depressing.
So how come the WWE isn't doing near as well in attendance as two or three years ago?
An obvious reason is lack of star power. With the loss of the likes of Edge, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Batista, Jeff Hardy, and other stars it's no wonder people are less willing to buy tickets.
But say you went to a Raw super show, with a card featuring, John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, Sheamus, Mark Henry, Christian, Triple H, and others. You would think that would merit good ticket sales.
I took a quick look at Ticketmaster.com, and I was pretty shocked. A family of four attending in the ringside section of a big show such as Raw or a PPV was looking at around $700 for a trip to the event. Tickets were around $120 each and then you have to pay for food, gas, parking and other expenses.
Even the cheapest seats were going for around $50 a pop.
I've been to a handful of events, and I don't remember it being that expensive at all. I remember it not being cheap, but I knew I was going to be treated to a great event, and it was worth it to me.
But in this economy, how willing is even the most hardcore fan to pay these prices? I probably wouldn't and evidently neither would others.
A recent PPV in my hometown of Seattle drew only 6,500 paid fans. I was not in attendance, but I remember attending a PPV here in 2009, and there were nearly 13,000 fans. That's a decrease of 50 percent and that happened in just two short years.
Smackdown shows are lucky to generate 2,500 ticket sales. Even Raw is dipping; for live events, they are lucky to get 9,000 through the gates. Back in the golden era, you could expect at least 11,000, going as high as 17,000 or so just for a Raw show.
Maybe if the WWE cut ticket prices by $10, I almost guarantee arenas would sell out.
I know it's a lot to ask, but these are starting to be desperate times.
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