The COVID-19 pandemic has really impacted the world in ways that changes was necessary to be made and that includes the world of sports as a whole, and of coarse the world of pro wrestling.
Due to safety protocols that were needed to be implemented, the WWE has not had fans attend RAW and SmackDown since the start of the pandemic and even PPV Events such as WrestleMania were not exempt. NXT though has had fans attend their shows, but only in limited quantity.
AEW, on the other hand, has had fans attend their PPV Events and TV shows for months now, while still implementing the COVID-19 safety protocols by having fans wear masks, practice social distancing, and sit in pods.
AEW has already had up to 1000 fans attend their shows with health and social distancing guidelines being followed and it’s no secret that Vince McMahon wants fans to attend the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania PPV Events as well.
The NBA’s Toronto Raptors recently announced that they plan to have fans attend their games for NBA’s upcoming season, but due to travel restrictions brought about by COVID-19, their games will be played at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida and the plan is for fewer than 3,200 seats to be made available for their pre-season game, while 3,800 seats will be made available for their regular-season games.
This announcement by the NBA’s Toronto Raptors opens the door for AEW and the WWE to do the same with their weekly shows as well as their PPV Events and that is to have more fans come and attend.
Reports indicate that WWE has had the main goal of using real, live fans in the crowd at the 2021 Royal Rumble. If that happens, it will be interesting to see how they will be able to bring the fans into the crowd with the ThunderDome setup at Tropicana Field. It will also be interesting to see if AEW adds more of a crowd than they already have.