WWE Executive Vice President of Television Production Kevin Dunn spoke to Sports Illustrated, stating entrances will be “better than Wrestlemania” with the use of drones, lasers, pyro, smoke and projections.
“We can now do things production-wise that we could never otherwise do,” Dunn stated. “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.”
He also revealed the experience will be the total opposite of what viewers have seen at the WWE Performance Center. They have 1,000 led boards to allow rows of virtual fans to interact with the action.
“We won’t have a flat board, we’ll have rows and rows and rows of fans. We’ll have almost 1,000 LED boards, and it will recreate the arena experience you’re used to seeing with WWE. The atmosphere will be night and day from the Performance Center. This is going to let us have a WrestleMania-level production value, and that’s what our audience expects from us. We are also going to put arena audio into the broadcast, similar to baseball, but our audio will be mixed with the virtual fans. So when fans start chants, we’ll hear them.”
WWE issued a press release Monday morning announcing the new experience, and how to become a virtual fan.
WWE® Brings the Thunder
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WWE ThunderDome™, featuring a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras, will take WWE fans’ viewing experience to an unprecedented level starting this Friday, August 21 on FOX, kicking off SummerSlam® Weekend.
“WWE has a long history of producing the greatest live spectacles in sports and entertainment, yet nothing compares to what we are creating with WWE ThunderDome,” said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Vice President, Television Production. “This structure will enable us to deliver an immersive atmosphere and generate more excitement amongst the millions of fans watching our programming around the world.”
With the debut of WWE ThunderDome, WWE will take residency at Amway Center in Orlando and virtually bring fans into the arena via live video on massive LED boards, in conjunction with The Famous Group and its proprietary technology, for every Monday Night Raw®, Friday Night SmackDown® and WWE pay-per-view event. Starting tonight, fans can register for their virtual seat to be part of upcoming shows via www.WWEThunderDome.com or at WWE’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.
“As WWE takes residency at the world-class Amway Center, we have reimagined our live event experience for today’s environment,” said Brian Flinn, WWE Chief Marketing & Communications Officer. “In partnership with The Famous Group, we will virtually bring our fans back into the show and recreate the interactive in-arena atmosphere that has been a staple of WWE events for decades.”
WWE Event Schedule for August:
Friday, August 21 – Friday Night SmackDown®, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on FOX
Saturday, August 22 – NXT TakeOver®XXX, Full Sail Live, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
Sunday, August 23 – SummerSlam, Amway Center, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
Monday, August 24 – Monday Night Raw®, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on USA Network
Wednesday, August 26 – NXT®, Full Sail Live, 8 pm ET on USA Network
Friday, August 28 – Friday Night SmackDown, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on FOX
Sunday, August 30 – Payback®, Amway Center, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
Monday, August 31 – Monday Night Raw, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on USA Network
WWE’s Amway Center residency will continue for the foreseeable future and Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view programming will be produced on closed sets with only essential personnel in attendance. WWE will continue to administer its health and safety protocols for talent, crew and employees in conjunction with each production, including PCR testing for COVID-19, social distancing and wearing masks.
About The Famous Group
The Famous Group (TFG) is a full-service fan experience company located in Culver City, Calif. For more than 20 years, TFG has helped the biggest brands, venues, and events in the world connect with fans, both physically and virtually, through creating immersive fan experiences utilizing award-winning creative, rock-solid production and proprietary technology. TFG has delivered on the biggest stages for Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams and leagues, Esports, concerts, festivals and retail environments. The company has serviced 15 Super Bowls and clients like Nike, Live Nation, NBA, NHL, NCAA Final Four, Ubisoft, Pepsi, AT&T and more than 90 professional sports teams and venues.