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WWE Sets Up ‘ThunderDome’ Residency at Orlando’s Amway Center With ‘Virtual’ Seats for Fans

Filming at new location began Friday with ”SmackDown,“ followed by this weekend’s ”SummerSlam“

WWE is taking up residency at Orlando’s Amway Center — or, as WWE has dubbed it, “WWE ThunderDome.” And with the move comes fans’ ability to grab a “virtual” seat.

The set up will allow WWE to “virtually bring fans into the arena via live video on massive LED boards” for every “Monday Night Raw,” “Friday Night SmackDown” and WWE pay-per-view event, all productions that have been taping at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando since mid-March. “NXT,” which airs every Wednesday on USA Network, will continue filming at its long-time home Full Sail Arena.

Per WWE, the transformed Amway Center (which is the home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic) will feature “a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras.” The first taping at ThunderDome was Friday’s “SmackDown,” followed by the highly anticipated “SummerSlam” pay-per-view event Sunday.

The “WWE ThunderDome” residency will continue for the “foreseeable future” with “Raw,” “SmackDown” and pay-per-view programming “produced on closed sets with only essential personnel in attendance,” according to WWE, which “will continue to administer its health and safety protocols for talent, crew and employees in conjunction with each production, including PCR testing for COVID-19, social distancing and wearing masks.”

“WWE has a long history of producing the greatest live spectacles in sports and entertainment, yet nothing compares to what we are creating with WWE ThunderDome,” said Kevin Dunn, WWE executive vice president of television production. “This structure will enable us to deliver an immersive atmosphere and generate more excitement amongst the millions of fans watching our programming around the world.”

“As WWE takes residency at the world-class Amway Center, we have reimagined our live event experience for today’s environment,” added Brian Flinn, WWE chief marketing and communications officer. “In partnership with The Famous Group, we will virtually bring our fans back into the show and recreate the interactive in-arena atmosphere that has been a staple of WWE events for decades.”

Fans can register for their “virtual seat” at “WWE Thunderdome” here.

See below for WWE’s event schedule for August:

Friday, August 21 – Friday Night SmackDown®, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on FOX
Saturday, August 22 – NXT TakeOver® XXX, Full Sail Live, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
Sunday, August 23 – SummerSlam, Amway Center, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
Monday, August 24 – Monday Night Raw®, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on USA Network
Wednesday, August 26 – NXT®, Full Sail Live, 8 pm ET on USA Network
Friday, August 28 – Friday Night SmackDown, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on FOX
Sunday, August 30 – Payback®, Amway Center, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
Monday, August 31 – Monday Night Raw, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on USA Network