At the half way point of 2017, Ring of Honor has drawn an average of 1,105 fans to 22 shows and a total attendance of 24,307. The average number of fans at a show and the attendance totals are the highest at a mid-year point since Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired Ring of Honor.
1/2017-6/2017: Total Attendance: 24,307 Average Number of Fans: 1,105
1/2016-6/2016: Total Attendance: 23,210 Average Number of Fans: 928
1/2015-6/2015: Total Attendance: 21,700 Average Number of Fans: 986
1/2014-6/2014: Total Attendance: 13,282 Average Number of Fans: 830
1/2013-6/2013: Total Attendance: 11,546 Average Number of Fans: 641
1/2012-6/2012: Total Attendance: 12,750 Average Number of Fans: 671
The raw data is available via this readable Google Doc. All info is either culled from The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required) or if unavailable, The Internet Wrestling Database. Quotes related to attendance are from the Observer. If you notice any errors, please let me know so that I may investigate and update, as appropriate.
Deep dive Takeaways:
- The record setting attendance in Lakeland, FL (with 3,500 fans) was huge but ROH would have still set an average attendance record during the Sinclair era if, theoretically, that number was substituted with 1,000 fans for a more typical WM weekend attendance figure.
- New Japan co-promotion is VERY important for live attendance business. The 4 War of the Worlds shows did a total of 5,400 fans over 4 shows and the two Honor Rising shows in Japan totaled 2,907 (As these Japan shows seem to be managed under the New Japan banner, some may not want to count them. Since they are called ROH, I did, and for consistency, did as well for last year).
- New York Babay! New York continues to be ROH’s biggest market, especially with two sold out shows at the half year in a 1,800 seat building.
- 9 of the 22 (41%) shows averaged 1,000+ fans. 10 of the 25 (40%) shows did in 2016 and 12 of the 22 (54%) shows did in 2015.
- 12 of the 22 shows were sold out, “near a sellout” or “filled, standing room only” (54%). This is nearly the same as compared to 2016, which had 13/25 sold out or “almost full” (52%).
- 4 of the shows with sellouts were in buildings that held less than 1,000 fans.
- Post PPV TV tapings don’t draw well, but probably save the company money. 78% of fans returned for the second consecutive Vegas shows (700/900) in March, whereas only 33% of fans returned to Lowell in June (500/ 1,500). The latter was not even helped with a Young Bucks DVD giveaway.
- There were 3 shows that drew 500 or less fans (San Antonio, TX , the week after the Royal Rumble, Collinsville, IL in June and the 2nd day of the Lowell, MA tapings). In 2016, 3 shows drew 500 or less fans as well: Collinsville, IL (perhaps they should try something closer to the heart of St. Louis?), Indianapolis in June (following a January show that was “almost full”) and the post ppv tv tapings in Concord in June of that year.
I do plan to flesh out the numbers at the end of the year and eventually, include all ROH attendance figures available, since the company opened, in future reports.
Full disclosure: I am a Sinclair Broadcast Group shareholder.
Lavie Margolin has been a professional wrestling fan since 1988 and has attended ROH shows regularly since 2004. Lavie is currently completing his latest book, Trumpmania (examining Donald Trump’s 30 year involvement in the world of professional wrestling). If you’d like to be informed when the book is launched in 2018, sign up here. Tweet me @Laviemarg