WWE has found its location for SummerSlam. "The Biggest Party of the Summer" will take place at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, which will be called WWE ThunderDome. Along with SummerSlam, which kicks off on Aug. 23, WWE ThunderDome will also be home to Friday Night Smackdown on Aug. 21. Originally, WWE was set to host SummerSlam at the TD Garden in Boston. However, WWE moved it from Boston due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"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," Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Vice President, Television Production, said in a statement. "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."
WWE will broadcast Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view shows for the foreseeable future with no fans in attendance. However, the company is bringing in virtual fans to the Amway Center via live video on LED boards. Fans can register for their virtual seat by going to www.WWEThunderDome.com.
In July, there were reports of WWE looking to host SummerSlam at an outdoor location. The company has been hosting the majority of its shows at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando since March. WWE is looking to host a small number of fans for future events to help build a better atmosphere for its shows. WWE has been using Performance Center trainees as fans for the last couple of months.
On July 31, Wrestle Votes reported WWE officials held a meeting to discuss and finalize a location for SummerSlam. However, it wasn't an easy road as the states WWE targeted wouldn't allow the company to host the event. WWE planned to have two live events at an 8,000-seat arena in Lakeland, Florida, but David Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported those events were canceled.
"So the dates July 24th and 27th were canceled this afternoon officially by WWE," Meltzer said via ComicBook.com. "The people who were gonna work those shows got the word this afternoon. If it will be delayed — nobody knows that's going on. Everything's spiked again, it's quite sad, it's quite sad. That's all I can say."
As for the SummerSlam card, two matches are officially set — WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton and WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits vs. Andrade and Angel Garza. McIntyre won the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36 in April and has not lost a singles match since. Orton is on a hot streak after beating Edge in a match the was titled "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever" at Backlash. The Street Profits won the tag team titles in March, which is the longest reign since The New Day won the titles at SummerSlam in 2015. Andrade and Angel Garza are two of the top young talents on the roster. SummerSlam is one of the original "Big Four" pay-per-views for WWE (along with Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, and Survivor Series). The first SummerSlam took place in 1988 at Madison Square Garden in New York.