Before I begin, let me apologize for no updates until now. This host site was down for maintenance and as a result, I was locked out. BUT, now I'm back and this is news.
WWE live show attendance....
May 6 in Dothan, Alabama- 2500 fans
May 7th in Macon Georgia 4400 fans
May 7th in Pensacola, Florida 3500 fans
May 8th in Greenville, South Carolina- 5500 fans
May 8th in Tupelo, Missippi- 3600 fans
May 10th in Highland Heights, Kentucky 2000 fans
TNA live show attendance.....
My 5th in Joplin, Missouri 3000 fans
May 6th in Fort Smith, Arkansas 690 fans
May 7th in Hot Springs, Arkansas 700 fans
These are figures over the course of the last week's worth of touring for both of the most powerful feds in professional wrestling. My point? I'm glad you asked. Since TNA has been more active in their touring schedule, TNA's attendance has actually gone up for live shows, particularly in larger towns and cities. The Joplin, Missouri figure shows 3000 fans. For TNA, this means good things are coming. In an earlier column I suggested that larger towns are the ticket to growing the fanbase beyond their original borders. Here's the proof.
Joplin, Missouri brings fans from Springfield, and up from Oklahoma and Arkansas being so close to the borders. It was a smart move. Likewise, putting a show like that into larger towns in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin can only be beneficial for the expansion.
Good friends of mine who have attended some of the live shows gloat about how close they were able to get to the performers and how much a part of the action they are. This separates TNA from WWE in that the company is more into fan interaction.
For those curious, the ratings spiked for Chyna, Mick Foley, and the return of Chris Harris. While I wasn't as keen on so much talk before Harris finally coming out, it did put over the "OH CRAP!" moment pretty well. Well done to Harris and Storm for the stare down. Chyna looked better than I expected. Much more toned down from her WWE persona, but still every bit as menacing. I would like to personally thank Mick Foley for perfectly building her reveal.
I do have one more thing to say in closing. The critics gave TNA a year when they began as a countdown to bankruptcy. Then the countdown was set at 2 years, then 5, and now that TNA is getting bigger, the critics have gotten bitter that their predicted dates have come and gone. The TNA Nation isn't going anywhere....in fact, we're only adding to the masses.