Wrestlemania 35 was another huge hit for the WWE franchise last night, putting the company on track to make a billion dollars in revenue this year.
With 82,265 fans in attendance, last night’s event pulled in $16.9 million. It’s a record figure for New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, making it the highest-grossing entertainment event in the stadium’s history.
— WWE (@WWE) April 8, 2019
Road to $1 Billion
The WWE has come under pressure lately for collapsing TV ratings and declining US attendance at live events. Despite that, Vince Mcmahon’s entertainment behemoth aims to reach $1 billion in revenue this year.
— World of Pro Wrestling (@WorldOfPW) April 8, 2019
2018 was already a record year for the company, pulling in $930.2 million revenue. In a shareholder statement, Vince McMahon said:
“In 2018, WWE generated the highest level of revenue and earnings in the Company’s history by leveraging our brand strength to increase the monetization of our content worldwide… Our long-term growth strategy will continue to focus on content creation, digitization and international development.”
— WWE (@WWE) April 8, 2019
Wrestlemania 35 will certainly prove any doubters wrong and put WWE on track to the $1 billion milestone. Sunday night’s event, which featured the first ever female-only headline event, was the second-highest grossing event in the company’s history after Wrestlemania 35 in Arlington, Texas.
Wrestlemania 35: A Record Event for New Jersey
Sunday night’s event was also a coup for New Jersey which benefits from the $16.9 million event. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy weighed in to say:
"The WWE Universe helped deliver significant economic results to New Jersey, and we look forward to the opportunity of hosting WrestleMania again in the future.”
Wrestlemania 35 isn’t just the main event, either. It’s now a week-long juggernaut featuring fan festivals and other live events. In total, more than 150,000 wrestling fans are expected to attend.
The Mind-Boggling Economics of WWE
As the WWE closes in on $1 billion annual revenue, the franchise has become a sporting powerhouse, with financial figures to match. CEO Vince Mcmahon is worth a whopping $3.3 billion alone, with a 37 percent share of the company.
WWE By The Numbers #WrestleMania:
— Kurt Badenhausen (@kbadenhausen) April 7, 2019
WWE’s pivot away from pay-per-view to digital has been a resounding success. WWE’s YouTube channel is the biggest sports channel on the planet, beating the NFL and NBA. And more than 1.65 million subscribers pay a monthly fee for WWE content.
— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2019
TV isn’t dead, either. WWE just inked a billion dollar deal with Fox to air Friday night Smackdown events. As WWE co-president George Barrios explained:
“We increased revenue by nearly $130 million, and achieved a record level of Adjusted OIBDA and network subscribers. We expect to balance 2019 revenue growth with investment in strategic areas that extend the moat around our business, enabling us to continue our business transformation and maximize shareholder value.”
Thanks to Wrestlemania 35, the WWE is on track for a record-breaking year, and the elusive $1 billion annual revenue.