WWE ThunderDome is moving to Tampa.
The WWE ThunderDome will move to Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay for its new residency starting with SmackDown on Friday, December 11 at 8 PM ET on FOX. WWE issued a new press release, confirming the move.
“The Tampa Bay Rays are excited to welcome WWE to Tropicana Field for this residency and shine a spotlight on the Tampa Bay area for WWE fans around the world,” said Matt Silverman, Tampa Bay Rays President. “The ballpark will be transformed to host the spectacle of WWE ThunderDome, allowing fans to enjoy this wildly popular experience virtually.”
“We are proud to have reimagined the in-arena atmosphere and provide an interactive experience like nothing else in sports and entertainment with the launch of WWE ThunderDome,” said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Producer & Chief, Global Television Production. “Our fans’ response and industrywide recognition are both humbling and further validation of the innovative spirit and passion that exist across the entire WWE organization.”
“Hollywood celebrities, WWE Legends and millions of fans from around the world have all enjoyed what the world-class WWE ThunderDome has to offer,” said Brian Flinn, WWE Chief Marketing & Communications Officer. “This new residency will enable us to continue offering an unmatched live spectacle and would not have been possible without the strong support from the Tampa Bay Rays organization. We remain grateful for the hospitality provided by the Amway Center over the past four months.”
Fans can register for their virtual seat to be part of upcoming WWE shows via www.WWEThunderDome.com or at WWE’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.
Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view programming will be produced at Tropicana Field 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.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio first reported that WWE officials were exploring the possibility of setting up the WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. WWE’s current contract with the Amway Center in Orlando is set to expire November 24, confirmed by a report from Spectrum Sports 360’s Jon Alba. Alba also speculated that with NBA eyeing a December 22 start for their new season, as well as the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears beginning play in December that it would appear to be the end of ThunderDome’s stay in Orlando.
Tropicana Field is a domed stadium that has been the home of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team since 1998. One interesting bit of trivia is that Tropicana Field has also been known as the Thunderdome, using that name from 1993 through 1996 when the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning played there.