As noted, WWE is moving its ThunderDome set to the Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL for all Raw, SmackDown, and PPV shows starting with the December 11 episode of Friday Night SmackDown.
Due to the size of the facility, which holds nearly 43,000 fans for baseball, there has been speculation on whether WWE would allow spectators into the arena. There has also been talk of WWE replicating the model used by NXT shows at Capitol Wrestling Center where groups of fans are being tested beforehand and stationed in individual pods.
WWE ruled out the possibility of spectators, even in limited quantities, being allowed to enter Tropicana Field. In their press release, they wrote, “Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view programming will be produced at Tropicana Field on closed sets with only essential personnel in attendance.”
In the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported that Tropicana Field is expected to be WWE’s home at least until March. The Tampa Bay Rays, who play their home games at the domed baseball stadium, are not scheduled to return to action in the MLB until March 30.
While Royal Rumble is expected to be held at Tropicana Field, Meltzer said the current plan is to host WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Field in Tampa, FL. However, Meltzer said plans that far off “depend on things completely out of everyone’s hands in relation to the virus.”
WWE is moving away from the Amway Center in Orlando since the arena will host games for the Orlando Magic in the NBA and Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL starting in December. The last show at Amway is expected to be the December 4 episode of SmackDown. The December 7 episode of Raw is likely to be held at Capitol Wrestling Center before all main roster shows are moved to Tropicana Field.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Subscribe to The Wrestling Observer by clicking here. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus history pieces. New subscribers can also receive free classic issues.