By Barry Janoff
November 16, 2016: When WWE unveiled the lineup for WrestleMania 32, held this past April 3 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, there seemed little doubt that attendance, financial and marketing records would be broken.
As it turns out, the event — highlighted by Roman Reigns defeating Triple H to win the world heavyweight title, The Rock taking down Erick Rowan and a guest appearance by Shaquille O’Neal — proved to be even better than expected.
WrestleMania 32 generated $170.4 million in direct, indirect and induced impact derived from spending by visitors to the Dallas/Arlington region — including $25 million spent on hotels and accommodations and $8.4 million in area restaurants — and also generated about $23.8 million in federal, state and local taxes, according to a study conducted for WWE by the Enigma Research Corp.
WWE said that was a new record for WrestleMania’s economic impact and marked the fifth consecutive year that WrestleMania generated more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region.
In addition, the crowd of 101,763 fans in AT&T Stadium (home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys) made it the highest-grossing and best-attended event in WWE history.
The previous WWE attendance record was at WrestleMania 3 in 1987, when 93,173 fans watch the action in the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit.
Marketing support was strong, as well, anchored by a deal with Snickers that made the candy brand presenting partner for WrestleMania 32, with promotional activity at WrestleMania Axxess (WWE’s four-day, interactive fan festival), integration on WWE’s flagship TV programs, presence at WWE live events leading up to WrestleMania and TV spots featuring WWE athletes and divas.
WrestleMania 32 also became the highest-grossing live event in WWE history, at $17.3 million.
The previous record was WrestleMania 31 in 2015 in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., home for the San Francisco 49ers, where gross revenue was $12.6 million, according to WWE.
In addition, WWE figures showed its digital subscription service, WWE Network, hit a record 1.82 million total subscribers following WrestleMania 32, making it the most viewed WrestleMania in history.
"On behalf of our city, we would like to thank all of the domestic and international WWE fans that converged on Dallas for WrestleMania Week to enjoy all that North Texas has to offer," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement. "The week-long series of events brought a tremendous economic windfall to our region."
WWE said the economic impact derived from WrestleMania Week was equal to the creation of 1,550 full-time jobs for the area.
According to John Saboor, evp-special events for WWE, "We are thrilled that WrestleMania continues to break records for both WWE and our host community. This success would not have been possible without the support of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and Charlotte Jones (evp and chief brand officer) and the entire Dallas Cowboys organization as well as all of our public and private sector partners that embraced WWE’s worldwide fan base for this historic celebration.
"We now look ahead to our return to Orlando for WrestleMania 33," said Saboor.
WrestleMania 33 is scheduled for April 2 in the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
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