Five years had passed since WWE had drawn 60,000 fans to any single show in the US, and business only went into a nose-dive as the nineties progressed. It seemed like a tall order to try and fill such a massive stadium when WWE was running In Your Houses and TV tapings in sub-10,000 seat venues over the previous few years.
According to Bruce Prichard on his "Something to Wrestle" podcast, that was precisely why the Alamodome was selected, because WWE had been putting on so many shows in smaller buildings. The December 1996 In Your House played to 5,700 people in West Palm Beach, and it was reinforcing a small-time stigma for a company struggling to project a powerful image.
Prichard contends that WWE just wanted to get as many people into the Alamodome as possible, sell out or not, to create an impressive visual. They wanted to prove that WWE was still capable of packing a ton of fans into one building for a major event.