Another week, another report of bad attendance at a WWE television taping. Photos circulated this week from the WWE SmackDown tapings in Glendale, Arizona, and this may be one of the worst reports yet.
As you can see from the tweets below, there are all kinds of seats open on the floor, and the camera side of the arena is as empty as we have ever seen at a WWE television taping. At least in recent memory.
As mentioned, this marks several weeks worth of poor WWE attendances around the country for both RAW and SmackDown. The house shows, in many cases, are much worse. So what's the problem?
There are many issues at play here. For one, the product is certainly down in popularity. We've seen a few years of declining television ratings now. This isn't just a problem for WWE, who still consistently rank as one of the top viewed programs on television. It's a problem for all of entertainment; people are tending to stay home more and more and not seek out the live experience.
Idk how many times I need to post it, this is half way thru and multiple lower level and all upper level seats were tarped off pic.twitter.com/4rQMd2XXi1— James Farmer (@jefarmer94) September 27, 2017
Another reason for suffering attendance is that WWE event tickets have risen to an obscenely high price. Face value for house show tickets, on the floor, are over $100 a piece. For television tapings it is even more. Has WWE priced themselves over market value?
Their dwindling attendance numbers seem to indicate this could be part of the reason. Think back to economic class: WWE appears to have set a price point way above equilibrium as far as supply and demand is concerned.
It's unlikely, with current prices, WWE is doing much in the way of ticket sales to curious customers who may not be big fans (ie: walk-up sales). At this current price point, the only people seeking out the show are dedicated fans. The company used to be able to draw out of a curiosity factor from people just looking to take their kids to something fun. That's not going to be the case when you have to spend several hundred dollars to do so.
Another issue is the company hasn't been able to create a new mega star for this generation yet. With John Cena out more often than not these days, WWE is relying on people to draw ticket sales that most of the general public are not familiar with. Roman Reigns, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, and AJ Styles just aren't household names yet.
Until we have another mega star catch fire, it's likely that reports on lousy attendance will continue. The only other option would be a lowering of the ticket pricing, though that seems unlikely right now given WWE seems to be trying to monetarily capitalize on the fans who do still come out in order to still draw respectable gate receipts.