WWE officially confirmed on Thursday that the WWE ThunderDome setup, which has been operating since mid-August while hosting weekly episodes of Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and monthly pay-per-views, will be officially moving from Orlando's Amway Center to Tampa's Tropicana Field beginning in December. The first episode to air from the new location will be the Dec. 11 edition of SmackDown.
The announcement confirms reports made earlier this week by @WrestleVotes, which also stated the company plans on staying inside the MLB venue (home of the Tampa Bay Rays) until "WrestleMania season." The report also said WWE intends on beginning its touring schedule again the night after WrestleMania 37.
Breaking: @WWE will bring its world-class viewing experience, WWE #ThunderDome, to @TheTrop in Tampa Bay as it begins a new residency starting with #SmackDown on Friday, December 11 at 8 PM ET on @FOXSports. pic.twitter.com/Jv3mvtvFBo— WWE Public Relations (@WWEPR) November 19, 2020
WWE put out a press release along with the announcement.
"The move to Tampa Bay marks the next iteration for WWE ThunderDome, which launched to critical acclaim in August as part of WWE's first-ever residency at Amway Center in Orlando," the release read. "Featuring a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras, WWE ThunderDome provides an immersive viewing atmosphere and virtually brings thousands of fans into the arena via live video, in conjunction with The Famous Group and its proprietary technology, for every Monday Night Raw®, Friday Night SmackDown® and WWE pay-per-view event. WWE ThunderDome recently received top honors at this year's Sportel Awards for Best Virtual Fan Experience."
"The Tampa Bay Rays are excited to welcome WWE to Tropicana Field for this residency and shine a spotlight on the Tampa Bay area for WWE fans around the world," Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman said in the release. "The ballpark will be transformed to host the spectacle of WWE ThunderDome, allowing fans to enjoy this wildly popular experience virtually."
"We are proud to have reimagined the in-arena atmosphere and provide an interactive experience like nothing else in sports and entertainment with the launch of WWE ThunderDome," Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Producer & Chief, Global Television Production, added. "Our fans' response and industrywide recognition are both humbling and further validation of the innovative spirit and passion that exist across the entire WWE organization."
WWE's final pay-per-view inside the Amway Center, Survivor Series, takes place this Sunday.