- More than half (52%) of WrestleMania 35 attendees were from outside the region. They stayed an average of 4.6 nights, spending $23.9 million on hotels and accommodations.
- Visitors to the region spent another $6.6 million at area restaurants.
- The “derived” impact was equal to the creation of 1,534 full-time jobs for the area.
move WrestleMania 36 from Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium to Orlando’s empty WWE Performance Center amid the coronavirus pandemic, he didn’t just lose a live audience — he lost money. And though WWE is missing out on tens of millions of dollars in revenue, Tampa and its surrounding area must forgo exponentially more. Last year, WrestleMania 35 sold out at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium and drew $16.9 million at the gate, according to WWE. Only WrestleMania 32 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas out-grossed WrestleMania 35, the sports entertainment giant said. On Tuesday, Raymond James Stadium announced that all WrestleMania tickets would be refunded at the point of purchase. It is reasonable to assume ticket revenue would have been down for the now-scrapped event, as MetLife’s capacity is 82,500 and Raymond James’ is 65,890. (AT&T Stadium holds 80,000 fans.) Plus, revenue for WWE’s domestic live events is currently down. In the most recently wrapped quarter, WWE’s ticket sales were down 20% year-over-year. (For 2019 as a whole, live-event revenue is more like -13% vs. 2018.) Now, some of that is due to WWE having staged fewer events than in the past, but average attendance is down 15% per live event. Ticket prices were essentially flat. Brandon Thurston of WrestleNomics estimated for TheWrap that WrestleMania 36 at Raymond James Stadium would have drawn a gate of around $15 million. He believes the four adjacent shows at Amalie Arena would have contributed another $4 million. The last two years, the WrestleMania quarter generated an extra $3 million for WWE in merchandise sales, which brings the as-originally-planned WrestleMania 36 value to around $22 million, tacking that revenue on to Thurston’s numbers. “Refunds for all WrestleMania Week events are available at all original points of purchase. If you purchased your tickets through Ticketmaster, you will automatically be refunded in the next 30 days,” Raymond James Stadium said in a Tuesday statement. “If you purchased your tickets at the ReliaQuest Ticket Office at Amalie Arena, refunds will be made available once the ticket office reopens. Currently the ticket office is closed for safety reasons due to the current COVID-19 virus situation.” Last year, WWE announced that 82,265 fans made WrestleMania 35 a sell-out, though WWE-announced attendance is usually taken with a grain of salt. Thurston is one such skeptic. He estimates attendance was more like 63,000 paying customers, using WWE’s own numbers to get there. WWE did not respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment on this story. TheWrap also reached out to the Tampa Sports Commission with questions about the local-market impact of WrestleMania 36 being moved out of the area, but we did not immediately hear back. “In coordination with local partners and government officials, WrestleMania and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place,” WWE said in its Monday relocation statement ahead of “Raw.” “However, WrestleMania will still stream live on Sunday, April 5 at 7 p.m. ET on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view. Only essential personnel will be on the closed set at WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida to produce WrestleMania.” In November, N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy said WrestleMania 35 and its side events generated $165.4 million in “direct, indirect and induced impact” in April for the New York/New Jersey region. Thurston thinks those numbers, which were generated by a study from the Enigma Research Corporation, are also significantly overstated — but he himself does not estimate local-economy impact. By Murphy’s numbers, the 2019 event was the eighth-straight WrestleMania to generate more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region. There’s no reason to believe that trend would have stopped, though it makes sense that the Tampa Bay-area take would be down from New York/New Jersey. Again, the crowd traveling to attend WrestleMania itself would be lighter than last year, the market size is significantly smaller and the cost of living in Tampa is much lower than in the New York City metropolitan area. Here are some more points pulled from the Enigma study:When Vince McMahon elected to