WWE is expected to announce the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida as the location for the SummerSlam pay-per-view on August 23. They’re also looking at the venue for other upcoming events and TV tapings.
It was reported on Thursday, via PWInsider, that WWE was considering the use of virtual fans for SummerSlam, something FOX has done for recent MLB broadcasts. Now @Wrestlevotes reports that WWE has a much bigger interactive experience planned for the Amway Center.
It was noted that WWE is about to begin a “new long term residency” at the Amway Center, indicating they have signed a lease with the venue, which has been “officially” closed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This residency includes a new interactive experience that will see fans appear live on the show via LED boards. The interactive experience will be hosted by WWE Superstars and Legends.
The interactive experience will be shown in the arena with more than 2,500 square foot of LED boards.
WWE should be announcing details on the interactive experience soon as it was noted that applications for people to appear on screen will open next week.
WWE production trucks have arrived at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
Local reporter Jon Alba tweeted the following video of WWE loading their equipment into the building today.
WWE is set to tape upcoming pay-per-view and TV events from the Amway Center. You can click here to read our recent report on a very interesting new “interactive experience” WWE has planned for the venue, in which fans will be shown on large LED boards.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that the return to live TV will begin with next Friday’s SummerSlam go-home edition of SmackDown on FOX. If everything goes smooth with SummerSlam Weekend, the idea is to host as much live TV as possible from the Amway Center for the forseeable future.
The idea is that WWE really wants to get out of the Performance Center as far as filming goes. They are putting part of the blame for the drop in TV ratings on not being live and the darkness of the Performance Center, according to The Observer.
The return to live programming outside of the Performance Center will mean an increase in production costs that the company has saved on while filming at their own facility. It will also mean talent and staff will be traveling twice as much, assuming they stay with live programming, and effectively ignoring the 14-day quarantine mandates set by states like Connecticut and New York.
The WWE NXT brand will not be impacted by the main roster move to the Amway Center as the current plan for the black & yellow brand is to remain at the NXT Arena on the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
Source: Wrestling Inc.