Alternate Venues

We all enjoy going to live wrestling events.  Well….most of us do anyway.  When the WWE comes to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, for example, the best seats go quickly.  But what about the independent promotions, or indies as their commonly referred to?

There are a multitude of venues where you can catch an independent wrestling promotion.  Some of the larger indies like Ring of Honor or Combat Zone Wrestling use The Arena in South Philly.  But most of the indies are smaller then those two and therefore need an even smaller (hint…cheaper) venue.  So where do they put on their show?  Many of us have been to the local YMCA, firehouse or school gymnasium.  But there’s one option that seems to be consistently overlooked – outdoors.

For many of the indies, this offers an affordable option for them to perform.  Every town has a local soccer, baseball or football organization.  And with the rising costs of playing sports today, they are always looking for new ways to generate additional revenue.  There’s only so much you can keep getting from the same people: registration fees, mandatory fundraisers, banquet ticket sales, etc.  The parents get tapped out after all this, so you have to look elsewhere for fresh capital.

A perfect example of this is in Sewell, NJ.  The Tri State Wrestling Alliance (TWA) is holding an outdoor event in Sewell.  Where in Sewell?  The simple answer is “in left field”.  Sewell Baseball & Softball is hosting TWA on April 9th, with the ring built right on the baseball field.  Think about it.  There’s plenty of room, no lighting issues and a much more relaxed atmosphere for interaction between the performers and the fans.  And the best part of all is that everybody wins.  TWA gets to put on a show with no building rent, which is typically a big chunk of the gate right there.  Sewell Baseball gets a portion of ticket sales, plus the often forgotten about Golden Goose, concession revenue.  It truly is a win-win for both organizations.

So why don’t we see more events on soccer fields or the 50-yard line?  I’m not sure.  It seems like a great way to make some revenue and have a great time doing it.  Most of the independent wrestlers are not house-hold names, but the kids love to meet them anyway.  Oh don’t get me wrong, some names are well recognized.  TWA regularly employs the services of the Blue Meanie of ECW fame as well as Shockwave the Robot, one of the competitors in the 2011 Super 8 tournament for ECWA (a sister promotion of TWA). 

Who knows, maybe this will start a trend.  Maybe Sewell Baseball will be the beginning of a whole new way of thinking when it comes to raising money and having a good time.  Maybe it will be so successful that TWA will get credit for finding that “niche” in the market that allows them to flourish, with outdoor shows all over South Jersey.  I hope for the sake of the business that they do.  Today’s kids and teenagers don’t care about socials, golf outings and selling candy for their organizations.  They want something fun – like the action of a professional wrestling event right on their home field.

I’ll be at that show on April 9th in Sewell, NJ, and I’ll be reporting back with the results of the show and the level of enjoyment exhibited by the fans and wrestlers alike.  Here’s to a successful show.  May she be the beginning of a trend seen on athletic fields as far as the eye can see!


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