All Elite Wrestling Headed for NYC
21 Sep, 2021
All Elite Wrestling is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, ready to go on tour across the United States, packing in excited fans who are eager to see professional wrestling live again. One of the most anticipated shows, Dynamite: Grand Slam, will be held Sept. 22 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, N.Y.
"For wrestling, it's such a special city, and it's the best way possible we can make our debut in New York. Hopefully, it's one of our biggest crowds of all time," AEW's CEO, general manager and head of creative, Tony Khan, told UPI.
Arthur Ashe Stadium is a part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where the U.S. Open will be held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12. The wrestling ring for Grand Slam will be placed at center court, and Khan said he's open to holding a Grand Slam show every year after the U.S. Open.
AEW was the first major wrestling promotion to start allowing fans in during the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020. The company went on to host 30 live ticketed events at Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Fla. The run turned AEW into a wrestling territory of sorts, a throwback to a bygone era when numerous wrestling promotions existed and only held shows within certain cities and states.
The pandemic era shows started with only 10% capacity and seated fans, who were required to wear masks, in groups far away from each other throughout the stadium. Fellow wrestlers were seated at ringside.
The capacity steadily increased over time and brought back one of professional wrestling's most important components -- the fans. Without fans, the heroes and villains of wrestling competed inside empty arenas, taking away the music festival-like atmosphere from the shows.