On Thursday, Fox confirmed the recent rumblings that the WWE ThunderDome was on the move. Currently, the WWE ThunderDome has been in the Amway Center in Orlando. With the possibility of the Orlando Magic needing the facility for the NBA, a new home was needed. The first show from Tropicana Field in Tampa will be SmackDown on December 11th. . The press release from Fox reads:
“Following a successful run at the Amway Center, FOX Sports has confirmed WWE’s state-of-the-art viewing experience will begin a new residency at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay as rumored. The ThunderDome has no doubt elevated WWE’s TV product. The loss of fans affected things early on, but the move in August to an arena with thousands of people in attendance via live video on LED screens, as well as pyro, lasers and drone shots being added, took the presentation of Raw and SmackDown to new levels. WWE’s move from the Amway Center seems to have come about due to the NBA season beginning next month and the possibility of the Orlando Magic needing the facility for any reason. Since the next Major League Baseball season isn’t expected to begin until April of next year, however, WWE was able to move their weekly operation to Tropicana Field for an undisclosed period of time.
“The Tampa Bay Rays are excited to welcome WWE to Tropicana Field for this residency and shine a spotlight on the Tampa Bay area for WWE fans around the world,” said Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman.
“The ballpark will be transformed to host the spectacle of WWE ThunderDome, allowing fans to enjoy this wildly popular experience virtually.”
Fans can participate in the ThunderDome audience by registering on the subsequent website. So far, this has been a successful operation for WWE and shows have filled out quickly.”
WWE also issued its own statement on the corporate website, echoing Fox’s excitement for the move:
“We are proud to have reimagined the in-arena atmosphere and provide an interactive experience like nothing else in sports and entertainment with the launch of WWE ThunderDome,” said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Producer & Chief, Global Television Production. “Our fans’ response and industrywide recognition are both humbling and further validation of the innovative spirit and passion that exist across the entire WWE organization.”
“Hollywood celebrities, WWE Legends and millions of fans from around the world have all enjoyed what the world-class WWE ThunderDome has to offer,” said Brian Flinn, WWE Chief Marketing & Communications Officer. “This new residency will enable us to continue offering an unmatched live spectacle and would not have been possible without the strong support from the Tampa Bay Rays organization. We remain grateful for the hospitality provided by the Amway Center over the past four months.”
Fans can register for their virtual seat to be part of upcoming WWE shows via www.WWEThunderDome.com or at WWE’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.
Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view programming will be produced at Tropicana Field on closed sets with only essential personnel in attendance. WWE will continue to administer its health and safety protocols for talent, crew and employees in conjunction with each production, including PCR testing for COVID-19, social distancing and wearing masks.
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