WWE Will 'Hopefully' Resume Touring in 2nd Half of 2021, Per Kristina Salen

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 22, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 11:  WWE logos are shown on screens before a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was announced that WWE wrestler Braun Strowman will face heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury and WWE champion Brock Lesnar will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at the WWE's Crown Jewel event at Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 31.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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WWE is optimistic about resuming a regular touring schedule in the second half of 2021.

Kristina Salen, the company's chief financial officer, discussed the tentative plans during a quarterly earnings call Thursday and referenced the ThunderDome concept it has used in recent months:

WrestlingINC.com @WrestlingInc

Salen was asked about WWE's touring plans "hopefully in the second half" and if they'll continue to have the Thunderdome when they start, or if they'll go 100% in. Salen said their hope is full touring in the 2nd half, and not retaining a semi-permanent residence in the T-dome

The COVID-19 pandemic forced WWE to abandon its traditional travel schedule. Shows were initially filmed at the promotion's Performance Center near Orlando, Florida, before the arrival of the ThunderDome, which has called three different venues (Amway Center, Tropicana Field and Yuengling Center) home.

WrestleMania 37 was the first show to welcome live fans since the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in March 2020. WWE sold a limited number of tickets for the two-night event staged at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Wrestlenomics' Brandon Thurston reported that 40,806 tickets were sold to bring in $6.2 million.

The pandemic obviously put a significant dent in the company's live-gate revenue. According to the 2020 earnings call, live shows brought in $125.6 million in 2019 and just $19.9 million in 2020. WWE's total net revenue increased anyway thanks largely to the $868.2 million it received from its media rights deals.

Utilizing the ThunderDome and Performance Center has helped WWE limit travel costs, but the return of touring will likely provide a big boost to the bottom line.