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WWE to transform Amway Center into ‘ThunderDome’

The WWE wrestling organisation has taken up residency at Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team, to stage a number of events under the WWE ThunderDome banner.

WWE ThunderDome will commence on Friday and feature a state-of-the-art set, video boards, lasers and cutting-edge graphics as part of plans to enhance the viewing experience for fans watching at home.

WWE will ‘virtually’ bring fans into the arena through live video streams, which will be showcased on LED boards inside Amway Center. WWE is working with The Famous Group, a California-based full-service fan experience company, on the virtual fan technology.

WWE’s residency at Amway Center will continue for the “foreseeable future”, with Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view programming to be produced on closed sets at the arena. Only essential personnel will be in attendance, with regular COVID-19 tests to be carried out and mask-wearing and social distancing measures in place.

Kevin Dunn, WWE’s executive vice-president of television production, said: “WWE has a long history of producing the greatest live spectacles in sports and entertainment, yet nothing compares to what we are creating with WWE ThunderDome.

“This structure will enable us to deliver an immersive atmosphere and generate more excitement amongst the millions of fans watching our programming around the world.”

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Dunn added: “We can now do things production-wise that we could never otherwise do. We’re flying drones in the arena, we are putting a roof inside the Amway Center, and we’ll be able to project content onto the roof.

“So when a big star like Drew McIntyre comes down to the ring, the whole arena will turn into his content with lasers, pyro, smoke, projections on the top of the building and on the floor. It will be a big, beautiful entrance, better than WrestleMania.”

WWE has been staging events without fans at its Performance Center since March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Image: 350Z53/Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)/Edited for size