WWE ThunderDome Is Moving To Yuengling Center On USF Campus
The Raw and Smackdown broadcasts are relocating from Tropicana Field with the Tampa Bay Rays set to begin their regular season.
The Yuengling Center on the University of South Florida campus in Tampa will be home to two of professional wrestling's signature shows.
World Wrestling Entertainment announced Wednesday it is moving its Raw and Smackdown television broadcasts — as well as some of its pay-per-view events — to USF starting April 12.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the broadcasts first originated at the Amway Center in Orlando starting last August, before relocating to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg in December.
But the broadcasts are now moving to USF with the Tampa Bay Rays about to begin their 2021 baseball season.
“WWE has always been a highlight of our event mix and bringing this world-class residency to Yuengling Center only strengthens our relationship,” Kevin Preast, executive vice president of event management at Vinik Sports Group, said in a press release. “Hosting WWE ThunderDome is another step towards a full return of hosting more events in the area."
WWE will continue its virtual ThunderDome concept, where fans are allowed in via live video. Fans can register to be part of the virtual seating at the WWE ThunderDome website, or on the WWE social media channels.
The shows are produced on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance.
“WWE takes great pride in providing our fans and network partners with cutting-edge production and one of the most interactive atmospheres in all of television every single week,” Kevin Dunn, WWE executive producer, said in the release. “We look forward to the next iteration of the WWE ThunderDome at Yuengling Center as we continue to take the fan experience to a whole new level.”
It is not certain how long WWE plans to remain at the Yuengling Center.
The first broadcast will take place the Monday after WrestleMania, which will be held before a live crowd at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on April 10-11.
Tickets for WrestleMania went on sale Friday, and are still available through TicketMaster. Capacity will be limited to 25,000 people each night, similar to what the NFL allowed for Super Bowl LV at the stadium in February.
Tickets are being sold in "pods" of one to six people, and two-day packages are available.
The WWE had planned to hold WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium in April 2020 before the pandemic forced it to be taped in Orlando.