Although creatively, the scripted disorder was doing wonders for the previously-stale television product, the overall turnaround was hardly swift. In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter cover-dated March 17, 1997 (likely released the previous Wednesday or Thursday), Dave Meltzer reported that 3000 to 4000 tickets were still available for the card in Chicago.
In the end, 18,197 fans filled the Rosemont Horizon, with 16,467 paid, doing a respectable gate of more than $830,000. There's no way to know for sure how much of those final 3000-4000 seats were give-aways in the final two weeks, but one has to reckon that quite a few were in order to fill the venue.
In any event, only having 14,000 seats spoken for, less than two weeks before the biggest show of the year, gives one an idea of just how different times were for WWE a generation ago.