AEW has had a remarkable journey since its inception, with impressive growth and a surge in popularity. The company’s success culminated at the All Out 2021 event, a key moment that established AEW as a major player in professional wrestling. This event, filled with high-profile debuts, dramatic matches, and intense storytelling, showcased AEW’s potential to compete at the highest level. However, like any organization, AEW faces challenges as it continues to evolve.

An internal email from the Military Affairs and Veterans Department of the City of Jacksonville, obtained by Action News Jax, shed light on AEW’s quest for additional attendees, referring to them as “fillers” to bolster crowd numbers. The email explicitly sought “50 people per night to attend as ‘fillers’” for AEW Dynamite this week. Despite Daily’s Place boasting a capacity of 5,500, only 2,459 seats are set up for Wednesday’s event, with 325 tickets still available.

PWInsider reports that using seat fillers is a common practice in the wrestling industry, with WWE and AEW employing them to ensure a full-looking audience during live events. The now-defunct WCW also used seat fillers in the past. Seat fillers are often placed in spots to avoid noticeable gaps on camera, creating a more cohesive appearance for television broadcasts.

Regarding WWE, it was stated that about 100 seat fillers were used for WrestleMania 40 on both Nights 1 and 2. The seat fillers at these events were reportedly required to wear Philadelphia Eagles gear, in line with the location and theme. This strategy is designed to maintain continuity in the visual presentation of the audience during major broadcasts.


As for AEW, the use of seat fillers at the Daily’s Place shows this week was aimed at members of the military, according to a report from Action News Jax. Additionally, Travis Akers, a user on Twitter, shared his experience as a veteran who received an email inviting him to attend the AEW show as a seat filler. This approach serves a dual purpose by not only filling seats but also providing opportunities for military personnel and veterans to attend high-profile events.

”I see some posts mocking @AEW for using seat fillers on Wednesday night’s #AEWDynamite at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. I was one of the veterans who received the email from the City requesting fillers. It was a request for only 50 and to simply fill seats ringside if the ticket holder had to get up (bathroom, concessions), not because of low attendance. Personally, I think it’s great that @TonyKhan invited military members and veterans to be the fillers. If you aren’t aware, #AEW also provides free tickets for military members at all of their shows as well. Televised awards shows follow this same practice (ie, Grammys, Oscars, etc). Some of y’all want AEW to fail so badly that you attack the company for anything. Listen, I’m not a huge fan of TK, I had an issue with him last year in my DMs, and AEW is in a weird place creatively right now, but he gives back to the community in every place AEW goes, and his family does great charity work in Jacksonville with the @Jaguars So how about just enjoy wrestling, watch what you like, don’t watch what you don’t, and be happy for the opportunity these athletes have to live out their dreams and perform for people around the globe no matter what promotion they’re doing it with. My name is Travis Akers, and I’m pro-wrestling!”

Even then, there’s a looming apprehension that AEW’s attendance patterns might echo the troubling decline witnessed by WCW in 2000. We’ll have to wait and see how AEW will improve their product in the coming months.

Are you surprised by this story regarding seat fillers in AEW? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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