In a recent interview, Tony Khan, the president, and CEO of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), shed light on the company's decision to stage their "All In" event at London's iconic Wembley Stadium rather than Craven Cottage. The decision, which left many curious given Khan's affinity to Craven Cottage, was primarily influenced by economic and logistical factors.
Khan, who has always shown deep-seated respect for historic venues, acknowledged the emotional pull that Craven Cottage holds for him, stating, "There are two places I thought about. One is also very dear to my heart, and that's Craven Cottage." However, for a large-scale pro wrestling event like All In, the more pragmatic decision was to opt for Wembley Stadium.
Its considerably larger capacity allows AEW to accommodate more fans, which, from a business perspective, translates to a potential surge in ticket sales. "Wembley is, for a pro wrestling event, the more economical choice for many reasons.
You can have much more capacity for attendance since Wembley is a larger stadium by far," Khan explained. Beyond just the sheer numbers, he also remarked on the "wonderful charms of Craven Cottage" and acknowledged the venue's storied history.
However, sentimentality couldn't overshadow the operational realities that AEW faced.
Logistical Hurdles at Craven Cottage
Khan went on to elucidate the logistical complications associated with Craven Cottage. "Craven Cottage poses so many challenges to loading in a pro wrestling event," he said, emphasizing that these challenges wouldn't just be about coordination and substantial financial implications.
He later revealed, "It would cost millions more to produce the event at Craven Cottage than at Wembley." Such insights provide a behind-the-scenes look at the intricate decision-making processes of wrestling promotions like AEW.
While emotional and historical connections to venues play a part, the overarching business model, potential profitability, and logistical considerations are crucial in determining the best course of action. In this case, Wembley Stadium emerged as the clear choice for AEW All In, blending the practical benefits of a larger venue with the intangible aura of hosting an event at one of the world's most renowned stadiums.