Statistics and analytics are a part of every sport including pro wrestling. Wrestlenomics takes a deep dive into the economics of wrestling courtesy of Brandon Thurston.
Thurston was asked about WWE moving WrestleMania to the Performance Center and the financial aspects when he spoke with Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri on The Wrestling Inc. Daily.
“It sounds crazy but also sounds like a very WWE thing to do as they’re not letting the outside forces stop them from what they want to do. It probably, financially, makes the most sense to them from hearing that they wouldn’t know when they would be able to do it if they postponed it. There’s speculation that this could go on through July or August so Vince felt like it’s best to just get it out of the way,” said Thurston.
“Doing it this way allows them to keep their sponsorship probably with Snickers. It will be a cheaper show to run than running it in a stadium. The production costs will be less in the PC than at Raymond James Stadium. I think they also save on the bump in Network subscribers that they would expect around WrestleMania. If you postpone it to 2-3 months down the line, then that bump doesn’t come until later if it comes at all.”
Thurston isn’t sure the level of interest that fans will have for WrestleMania without the backdrop of a massive stadium. He also noted that WWE usually sees a jump in Network subscribers in Q2 thanks to WrestleMania, but that may not be the case this year.
“Without that, the Network is hurt even worse than as is. We’ve seen a downward trend in Network subscribers year-after-year. It makes financial sense to keep WrestleMania on the date that you have it to keep revenue up and subscribers up. I guess it’s a money-saver in terms of production costs and a money-saver in one major sponsor in the form of Snickers,” stated Thurston.
With WrestleMania moving from Raymond James Stadium to the PC, WWE is losing out on roughly the sales from 70,000 ticket purchases. Add in the cancellations of events like the Hall of Fame ceremony and Axxess and WWE will lose millions of dollars.
Thurston estimated just how many millions this will be.
“I think WrestleMania is probably a $16 million date roughly. The other four events [Axxess, HOF, Raw, SmackDown] probably do, on average, $1 million each so that’s $20 million. Then I think they do about $3 million in merch,” Thurston said before noting his estimates are based on the last two years of data.
“The best quarter for venue merch sales is the WrestleMania quarter. When you compare that to the other three quarters, the difference is about $3 million, so that comes to about $23 million.”
In terms of saving money, Thurston estimated that the production costs for running Mania in a stadium is about $2 million or twice as much as running any other PPV in an arena.
Brandon’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today’s episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.