WWE has been running all of its pay-per-views and episodes of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown from the Amway Center in Orlando since mid-August. And while fans and wrestlers alike have enjoyed bringing fans back to the show (virtually) via the ThunderDome, the deal won't last forever. Orlando Spectrum News 13 reported in late August that WWE's deal with the arena last up until Oct. 31, and the company has made no statements about what will happen after that.
According to @WrestleVotes, WWE has already started working on that plan. The insider tweeted on Tuesday that the company is looking for outdoor venues to host episodes of Raw and SmackDown once the ThunderDome is no longer usable. There's no mention of the company going back to the WWE Performance Center, which was the host for WWE programming from March to August during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past week or so, WWE assembled a small team to figure out if running TV from outdoors venues would be fesisble once the ThunderDome contract expires. Idea is both SD & RAW would be in same location each week. Southern states with good weather is the preference. All TBD.— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) September 15, 2020
"When people think of WWE, most think of the spectacle that we are, but it was just impossible to put on a spectacle in the Performance Center," Kevin Dunn said in an interview with Sports Illustrated leading up to the ThunderDome's debut. "Moving to Amway, and unveiling the ThunderDome, the opportunities are limitless.We can now do things production-wise that we could never otherwise do. We're flying drones in the arena, we are putting a roof inside the Amway Center, and we'll be able to project content onto the roof. So when a big star like Drew McIntyre comes down to the ring, the whole arena will turn into his content with lasers, pyro, smoke, projections on the top of the building and on the floor. It will be a big, beautiful entrance, better than WrestleMania.
"We're grateful and so appreciate the fans are hanging with us. It's been tough. The shows haven't been what we'd like them to be, and we'd be dishonest saying anything else," he added. "We miss our fans. Our fans make our shows. Without them, it's been really challenging. I can't wait to see the ThunderDome full of 1,000 people, giving us the energy we need to make this as entertaining as possible. I think people watching and participating are really going to enjoy this, and it's going to make people say, 'Wow, WWE, it's back.'"