Fan Posts Shocking Photo of SmackDown Live's Attendance

Last night WWE was hosted by Little Rock, Arkansas' Verizon Center. The arena can hold up to 18,000 fans but last night's SmackDown Live could only fill a slim portion of the seats.

A fan in attendance posted the following picture of the sparse gate to r/SquaredCircle:

SmackDown poor attendance
(Photo: WithinTheHour)

Yikes. While poor attendance at SmackDown isn't exactly news, it's still alarming to see this many empty seats. Before we panic and exclaim that WWE is walking the path of the DoDo Bird, let's take a look at why this few of people showed up for SmackDown.

First, WWE was in Little Rock, Arkansas. I'm sure this town is full of fine folk, but in terms of wrestling hotspots, it may be pretty forgettable. Last week WWE was in Brooklyn, a town that exponentially outnumbers Little Rock in population and number of wrestling fans. Not all wrestling cities are equal.

Next, John Cena wasn't there. WWE's 16-time Champion is a magnet for fans and money. With him jumping to RAW, casual fans don't have the same incentive to check out SmackDown. You may not like him, but millions of people are willing to pay their hard earned money to see him live.


Third (and not entirely exclusive from Reason #2) SmackDown's roster is in an odd place. This time last year, both Shinsuke Nakamura and Jinder Mahal were not on WWE's main roster. Now they are feuding over the WWE championship. While they have had their successes since coming up, they just aren't as established as Superstars like Randy Orton. Does this mean that they are projects that should be trashed by WWE? No, this means that they're just getting started. If they draw like this in a year, then we can have a much different discussion.

Other logical explanations include a post SummerSlam lull, SEC football season, half priced wings at Hooters, a spiritual haunting of the arena, and general apathy towards the WWE product. Eh, I may have made up some of those, but regardless WWE should not panic over thin attendance at one show in Arkansas. Their product is stronger than ever and has never had this much exposure. Next week we'll look into poor sales of an Iphones in Yakima, Washington.