On Friday, WWE trucks were seen loading equipment into the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The venue will become WWE's new home for monthly PPVs, Raw, and SmackDown within the next week as the company wants to switch things up after broadcasting from the WWE Performance Center since mid_march. However, new details have now emerged on how long WWE's residency at the Amway Center will last.
According to Jon Alba of Florida's MyNews13, WWE signed a deal with the venue to produce shows there until October 30th. The deal does not allow fans to be present for the tapings, so WWE will remain without a live audience audience for the next two and a half months, minimum. The company had hopes to begin producing in front of a real live crowd (read: not NXT talent) by the end of September, however those hopes were dashed due to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WWE is looking to incorporate fans into the look of the shows at Amway Center via LED boards that will be set up, similar to what the NBA has done.
So barring an amendment in the agreement, no live fans through October, but WWE gets arena access for all events through then.— Jon Alba (@JonAlba) August 15, 2020
It's unclear exactly when WWE will begin producing shows from the venue. We've known that SummerSlam is scheduled for the venue (although it has not been officially announced), but WWE revealed on commentary last night during SmackDown that next Friday night's broadcast will be live and outside of the Performance Center. They did not confirm a venue.
NXT will continue producing at the NXT Arena on the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.
As WWE has seen their television ratings continue to sink throughout the pandemic, the company believes the dark feel of the Performance Center, as well as the lack of live broadcasts, has hurt them. This is something they hope to remedy by moving into a long term residency at the Amway Center.
Are you looking forward to WWE's change in venue for television? Let us know in the comments section below! Additionally, you can give me a follow on Twitter @ryandroste for all things WWE and AEW, and check out my podcast Top Rope Nation for a twice-weekly discussion on the world of pro wrestling.