Update on Actual Attendance Figures for WWE Royal Rumble 2023, How WWE Came to 50,000 Attendance Figure

Posted By James Walsh on 03/16/23

– January’s WWE Royal Rumble 2023 event had an announced attendance of 51,338 people. Wrestlenomics came out with a report and breakdown of how WWE reached that figure. WWE is known to exaggerate their attendance figures, usually going by the number of people in the building rather than just the spectators in attendance.

Per the report, the event sold 44,569 tickets, generating $7.3 million in net ticket sales revenue for WWE. The announced gate of $7.7 million from WWE likely included service fees. The report notes that 2,662 tickets were given away for free per ticket audit records. Additionally, the number of fans who had their tickets scanned and entered the building was 42,928.

Additionally, a WWE employee reportedly told Alamodome staffers in emails regarding the event to count “anyone with a heartbeat,” which is also how the company reached the 51,338 attendance figure. Here are some of the email exchanges from the Wrestlenomics report:

WWE Director of TV Event Relations (Wed. 25 Jan, 6:55 PM CT):

Hello all, Gathering up all the pertinent information for WWE TV attendance figure for the TV broadcast on Saturday. This is an “asses in the venue” number. If you have a heartbeat we count you.

Therefore, looking for the following information:

1. Total suite capacity for the venue. This would include standing room in the suites and any killed suites on the south end.

2. Total venue staffing number for the venue on site for the show. This would be everyone…venue staff, operations, housekeeping, concessions, security, parking, etc.

Don’t need an answer right now but will need it before Saturday.

Alamodome Event Services Manager (Wed, 25 Jan, 7:06 PM CT):

RE: Royal Rumble total attendance (including staffing) request

We will work on this and have it to you by Friday.

Alamodome Box Officer Manager (Thu, 26 Jan, 1:26 PM CT):

I can speak for the Suite portion of this question…

With suites 1-8 and 45-52 not in use, and the Press Box not being used for Ticketed Patrons (which we do sometimes do for concerts like Elton John and Bad Bunny), the total Suite capacity including SRO’s for Saturday is 694 persons.

WWE Director of TV Event Relations (Thu, 26 Jan, 1:35 PM CT):

What would the total capacity be if suites 1-8 and 45-52 and the press box were fully ticketed?

Alamodome Box Office Manager (Thu, 26 Jan, 1:40 PM CT):

Press box would be 130 and the 8 suites combined including SRO’s would be another 318 persons (130 + 318)

WWE Director of TV Event Relations (Fri, 27 Jan, 10:05 PM CT):

Any update on the total venue staff number for tomorrow’s show for our TV attendance figure?

Alamodome Event Services Manager (Sat, 28 Jan, 6:59 AM CT):

Total number 725 do u need breakdown?

WWE Director of TV Event Relations (Sat, 28 Jan, 7:41 AM CT):

This seems very low. Does this include everyone? Concessions? parking? security? Housekeeping? Ops? Anyone with a heartbeat.

Alamodome Event Services Manager (Sat, 28 Jan, 7:45 AM CT):

Let me check again when all managers arrive. Will get back to you around 9:30am.

Alamodome Event Services Manager (Sat, Jan 28, 7:19 PM CT):

As we discussed earlier the revised number with Traffic, SAPD, Pritchard is 1,280.

According to Brandon Thurston’s report, the “Pritchard” mentioned in the email is likely in reference to the housekeeping/janitorial contractor that’s used by the stadium, which is Pritchard Sports & Entertainment Group.

Despite the exaggerated attendance and gate figures, the event still generated revenue $2 million higher than Royal Rumble 2017, which was also held at the Alamodome.
WWE’s embellished attendance figure aside, there’s no doubt Royal Rumble was a record-setting success. A gate of either $7.3 million or $7.7 million, however you think it should be counted, makes it among the most lucrative non-Wrestlemania ticket events in pro wrestling history. And the event’s ticket revenues were more than $2 million greater than the 2017 event, also at the Alamodome.

Royal Rumble 2017 sales records were also obtained through our request. That event sold $4.9 million worth of tickets, with a paid attendance of 47,088, higher than the paid attendance for this year’s event. The difference is the 2017 show had an average ticket price of about $105 versus about $165 for this year’s.

Royal Rumble 2017 had an announced attendance figure of 52,020. Wrestlenomics reports that the event had a live gate of $4.9 million in ticket sales, with a paid attendance of 47,088, which was actually higher than this year’s event. This is due to the increase in the average ticket price for Royal Rumble this year, going from $105 in 2017 versus $165 for WWE Royal Rumble 2023.