Fascinating movie

WWE’s WrestleMania will air at Dave & Buster theaters nationwide

STAMFORD – This weekend, fans will fill AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for WWE’s annual flagship event, as Legions watch from their homes around the world.

And this year, there’s also the option to catch the action on the big screen or while dining out.

Ahead of WrestleMania 38, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, WWE announced several new ways for fans to watch one of sports entertainment’s biggest events – including options to watch in theaters or on Dave & Buster’s restaurant-and-. gambling establishments. The new initiatives are a testament to Stamford-based WWE’s adaptation amid the COVID-19 pandemic as it has managed to continue growing its viewership and revenue.

“WWE is tireless in its pursuit of fan engagement – that’s clear,” said Josh Shuart, director of sports management at Sacred Heart University’s Jack Welch College of Business & Technology. “The company has done an admirable job of finding new business partners to help with their growth and survival.”

Beginning with WrestleMania 38, all WWE “premium” live events will be streamed at Dave & Buster locations nationwide. There are over 140 Dave & Buster locations, including locations at Connecticut Post Mall in Milford and The Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester.

A partnership with Joe Hand Promotions, a provider of live content for bars, restaurants and other public viewing venues, facilitates the initiative with Dave & Buster’s.

“Dave & Buster’s is a staple of fun and entertainment in the United States and it matches the energy of WWE’s premium live events such as WrestleMania,” said WWE Vice President Emilio Revelo. , in a press release. “We’re excited about this year-round partnership and meeting new and existing fans in a place they truly enjoy.”

Dave & Buster officials said their properties are well suited for broadcasting WWE events.

“With dozens of huge TVs, projectors, and plenty of locations featuring our 40ft Wow LED Walls to deliver high-end entertainment, there’s no better watch party experience than Dave’s. & Buster,” Kevin Bachus, senior vice president of entertainment and gaming strategy at Dave & Buster’s, said in a statement. “With this partnership, we are incredibly excited to set those screens on WrestleMania 38, as well as all of WWE’s other major shows and events.”

Several sports media pundits also see potential in the new partnership.

“It’s great for Dave & Buster’s because they get more or less exclusive sports content for their in-house television system,” Daniel Durbin, director of the Annenberg Institute for Sports, Media and Society, told Reuters. University of Southern California. “It’s also a great match for WWE as they can target their typical audience as well as a casual audience who may not currently watch their product, but would be more likely than opera-going intellectuals to enjoy. WWE Entertainment So it seems like a good move all around.

Last week, WWE announced a plan to bring WrestleMania to theaters nationwide. It will do so through a partnership with Fathom Events, a leading content distributor for cinemas in North America which is owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group. Movie tickets are sold online.

“All fans know that WrestleMania is WWE’s most important event, and Fathom Events is thrilled to bring these blockbuster matches to theaters nationwide,” Fathom CEO Ray Nutt said in a statement. . “We are also very proud to be working with WWE on this event and many more in the future.”

“I’m much more optimistic about the Dave & Buster partnership. I remain skeptical of WrestleMania live in theaters,” Shuart said. “Both initiatives are intriguing engagement strategies, but I’m not completely convinced that audiences will pursue these experiences away from home when they can already enjoy them at home.”

Durbin was also skeptical of theater screenings.

“Movie theaters have struggled for years. So this is a potentially useful deal for them, perhaps attracting new audiences,” Durbin said. “However, going to the theater and paying to see a wrestling event assumes you’re already a fan. So it doesn’t do much to spread, build and grow WWE to new or casual audiences. We’ll find out how much this strategy is effective when we see how many people are willing to pay to see WWE in a theater.

The new initiatives will expand the reach of an event that already attracts a global audience. Last year, WrestleMania generated a record 1.1 billion video views across WWE’s video and social media channels, up 14% year-over-year, Variety reported the year. last.

Headlining a “winner-take-all” championship unification match between WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Universal Champion Roman Reigns, WrestleMania will air exclusively on NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform in the States. United States and on the WWE Network outside the United States Last year, WWE announced a multi-year deal granting Peacock exclusive broadcast rights on the WWE Network in the United States.

As WWE expands viewing options, in-person fan presence at events remains crucial. This weekend’s rally at AT&T Stadium will mark the second time WrestleMania has been held at the North Texas Stadium, which is also home to the Dallas Cowboys. In 2016, nearly 102,000 fans attended WrestleMania 32, a record attendance for the event.

The company’s returns from live events dropped from around $126 million to around $20 million in 2020, a year in which WrestleMania took place behind closed doors at WWE’s training facility. in Orlando, Florida. Last year, WrestleMania was held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, contributing an estimated $58 million in live event revenue in 2021.

WWE generated approximately $1.1 billion in total revenue in 2021, up 12% from 2020 and 14% from 2019.

Among other key initiatives, the company plans to open its new headquarters at 677 Washington Blvd. in downtown Stamford later this year. The main offices are now based about two miles east at 1241 E. Main St.

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