How Much Money Could WWE Lose Through Empty Arena Shows?

Hard times mean hard declines for WWE's profits.

Vince Ratings Slump
WWE.com / USA

WWE could stand to miss out on as much as $300 million in revenue should the ongoing global health crisis force them into holding empty arena shows for the rest of the year.

This is according to research done by the tremendous Brandon Thurston of WrestleNomics, who is considered the foremost independent expert in the business sides of professional wrestling.

Had 2020 panned out as planned, Thurston's projections had WWE pulling in a colossal $1.218 billion in revenue and $163 million in operating income, though these could drop to $927 million and $121 million respectively should the current situation last all year. That's a drop of $291 million in revenue.

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For comparison, a record-breaking financial year saw WWE score $960.4 million in revenue for 2019.

As summarised in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, scrapping untelevised house shows doesn't impact profitability as such events make a loss anyway, though missing out on live gates from television and pay-per-view tapings most certainly does. Current affairs also prevent WWE from filming new reality shows.

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A considerable hit to WWE's coffers, then, but not necessarily a devastating one, given their value, resources, and stability.

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Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.