WWE turned some heads with a change to the company’s 2022 pay-per-view schedule. This schedule saw a few Saturday events and one specifically designed to counter-program AEW All Out. Vince McMahon’s company had a reason for those decisions.
While speaking on the 3rd quarter 2021 earnings call, WWE President Nick Khan opened up about how the company has taken a long look at their upcoming pay-per-view schedule as they identified things that needed changed.
“One area we’ve spent the last year examining is our strategic approach to pay-per-views. We’ve looked into all parts of that business and are making adjustments that we believe will enhance our results by making each pay-per-view a special event, not only as content but in all things surrounding each event. As promised last quarter, we recently announced our pay-per-view calendar for 2022. The dates, cities, and venues.”
Nick Khan then took the opportunity to hype some of WWE’s stadium shows that they have coming in 2022.
“For the first time in our history, we’re hosting at least four pay-per-view nights in a stadium in the United States. First, Royal Rumble on January 29 at the Dome at America Center in St. Louis, a Saturday night where there is no real competitive programming on the sports calendar. Typically, we have done Royal Rumble a week later during Pro Bowl weekend. This year, we wanted to support our NBCU partners and not go up against the Winter Olympics. Thus far, ticket sales are off the charts, track as well as this year’s SummerSlam, where we ended up with a gate four times the gate of SummerSlam 2019, a clear sign of the value of bringing our tentpole events to major venues on the right night. Next, in terms of stadium events, a two-night WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3. In 2016 at ATT&T Stadium, we had over 100,000 fans in attendance for WrestleMania. Let’s see what two nights brings for our Super Bowl.
Our stadium event after that, a big five pay-per-view, Money in the Bank, the weekend going into July 4, will be back in Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Over 400,000 people are expected to travel to Las Vegas that weekend to celebrate the fourth. We expect to see many of them at Money in the Bank. About a month later, SummerSlam at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, again, on a Saturday, July 30. Have you been to Nashville in the summer on a weekend? It’s booming and growing and we’re growing SummerSlam with it. What we found from this past SummerSlam in Las Vegas, of the 50,000 plus who attended, not one ticket was purchased from Tennessee. Not one. So many similarities between those two cities on the weekends, not much crossover between those two cities on the weekends. A robust ticket buying market in each for us to tap into and grow in,” he said.
WWE is holding a Day One pay-per-view on New Year’s Day instead of a December pay-per-view. Nick Khan also had a chance to address this decision.
“For the first time, we’re holding an event on the night of New Year’s Day from State Farm Arena in Altana. As we discussed previously, this upcoming New Year’s Eve is a Friday. Both college football playoff games are on that Friday. Usually, the NFL would go to a Saturday and Sunday schedule once the college football regular season is over. That is no longer happening on Saturdays late in the season with the NFL’s new 18 week regular season. Over 350,000 people are expected in Atlanta for that New Year’s weekend. With the removal of NFL competition and a city packed with visitors, we thought it might be smart to have an event there the next night on Saturday, January 1. We expect to benefit from all of those weekend guests looking for entertainment the night after New Year’s Eve. You may recall seeing Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young interfere in one of our matches at Madison Square Garden in September. All part of our Atlanta strategy. Look for more integration like that across our product.”