WWE and Vince McMahon have always prided themselves on posting impressive attendance figures for events such as WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and the Royal Rumble.
However, down the years the company has also been known to inflate these figures compared to the ‘real’ attendance.
The controversial issue was back in the news on March 15th when Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, produced a report on the 2023 Royal Rumble. Thurston noted that the real attendance figure at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas was 44,569 which is much lower than the 51,388 that WWE announced.
Thurston also disclosed correspondence between a member of WWE’s live events staff and someone working with the Alamodome. When a figure provided by the venue was considered low by WWE, they asked for “everyone with a heartbeat,” including those working at the event to be counted.
Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that although WWE doesn’t use this methodology for their WrestleMania attendances, they are regularly inflated. In the past WrestleMania attendance figures offered by WWE have been anywhere between 10,000 and 22,000 higher than the actual attendance.
Meltzer added that he once questioned Vince McMahon about the figures, and he said WWE’s figures were “for entertainment purposes only.”
“I did speak to Vince McMahon after a WrestleMania about this and he said that the numbers they announce at WrestleMania “are for entertainment purposes only.” And that’s fine and good but the funny part of this is a written paper trail that basically tells you the numbers are what they are, and actual media outlets will ignore all this and continue to print the 80,000 plus number for that is likely to be claimed for WrestleMania even when every year the real numbers eventually come out to be far less.”
Vince McMahon Recently Returned To Raw
On March 6th, Vince McMahon made his first appearance backstage at a television taping since returning to WWE in January. While it has been suggested that McMahon was there to visit John Cena, there may have been more to it.
In the weeks following the show, it has been reported that the Executive Chairman may have been laying the groundwork for future appearances.