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WWE Royal Rumble had $47M economic impact in St. Petersburg

WWE Royal Rumble had $47M economic impact in St. Petersburg

WFLA (April 19, 2024) A World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) event held earlier this year had a $47 million impact on the city of St. Petersburg.

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) broke down the numbers to the Pinellas County Tourism Development Council on Wednesday.

The announcement comes after the live event body-slammed Tropicana Field’s attendance record, drawing in a crowd of over 48,000. Tickets were sold to people in all 50 states and 40 countries.

Caleb Peterson, Senior Business Development Manager for VSPC, announced that Rumble had a positive impact outside the Trop and boosted profits for nearby businesses.

Ferg’s Sports Bar reported seeing seven times their usual business on Saturday.
Green Bench Brewing Company reported a 10%-15% increase over a typical Saturday.
Imagine Museum staff said they saw a 25% increase in attendance on Sunday.
The Sun Runner also saw a whopping 95% spike in ridership the day of the Royal Rumble.

“I don’t know if some of you guys were down there, but downtown St. Pete was just electric,” Peterson said. “What we heard from a lot of different people is that weekend is typically pretty quiet on our side of the bay because of Gasparilla going on over in Tampa. It was a home run for them.”

Peterson said the process for courting WWE to choose St. Pete for one of its most iconic events was competitive. VPSC, who kicked in $500,000 for the effort, teamed up with the Tampa Bay Rays, the City of St. Petersburg and the Tampa Sports Commission to make it a reality. St. Pete was chosen over Orlando and Seattle to host the event.

“You could tell downtown was on fire,” Council Member Copley Gerdes said.

17,811 booked hotel nights helped the Royal Rumble generate $28 million in direct spending and an overall economic impact of $47 million. It brought in nearly $3 million in tax dollars.

Peterson highlighted the “legacy” that WWE left behind in Tampa Bay.

“On that Friday and Saturday leading up to the event, they visited four charities and they interacted with the kids, the youth of our communities and they donated $15,000 to each of these charities,” Peterson said. “Not only did they bring the impact during the event, but they’re going to leave a lasting impact with our youth and then that $15,000 will go to support those organizations as they look to move forward.”

WWE donated to the following organizations:

  • ARC Tampa Bay
  • Miracle by the Bay
  • Boys & Girls Club of St. Petersburg
  • Pinellas Education Foundation

“I wish we could do this with more of our events,” Peterson said.

Read the article here.