The euphoria surrounding AEW's All In pay-per-view at London's iconic Wembley Stadium has encountered unexpected turbulence. Despite AEW's claim of drawing a paid attendance of 81,035, recent data made available by the U.K.
government suggests a contrasting story. Based on the information acquired from a Freedom of Information request, highlighted on the website WhatDoTheyKnow, the actual turnstile count for the event stood at 72,265. This not only falls significantly short of AEW's declared figures but also sits below the count recorded for WWE's WrestleMania 32 in Arlington, Texas, which boasts numbers between 79,800 to 80,709, contingent on varying sources.
Attendance Numbers Questioned
While the data from WhatDoTheyKnow doesn't discount the possibility of 81,035 tickets being sold for All In, the U.K. government's figures undeniably show a dip in the actual attendee numbers.
Delving into this discrepancy, Wrestlenomics reveals that an AEW insider pointed to a 'drop count' in the realm of "80% to 90% of the paid attendance or tickets distributed." The 72,265 figure aligns closely, constituting around 89% of the proclaimed 81,035.
All In's commercial achievements remain undeniable. The event raked in millions, fortifying AEW's position in the wrestling entertainment market. However, the shadow of the revised attendance figures somewhat mars the triumph.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer opined that WWE would struggle to surpass All In's attendance claims. Yet, with this newfound data, WWE's WrestleMania 32 could reclaim its pedestal, boasting the most substantial paid attendance in wrestling's storied history.
It's imperative to highlight that when we talk about vast wrestling audiences, the WCW-NJPW Collision In Korea event in Pyongyang, North Korea often takes center stage. This colossal gathering, however, comes with an asterisk.
While the numbers were indeed staggering, the mandatory attendance directive imposed on the North Korean populace makes it a unique case. Unlike most events where numbers are a testament to popularity and business acumen, this particular attendance, driven by state mandate rather than genuine fan interest, doesn't truly reflect the wrestling industry's organic draw or business accomplishments.