South Dakota Hosted A Monday Night RAW, And That's A Big Deal
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Something happened in South Dakota on Monday that had never been done before. World Wrestling Entertainment brought its flagship show ‘Monday Night RAW’ to Sioux Falls.
This has been a discussion point in Sioux Falls since the construction of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in 2014. Will Sioux Falls ever host a Monday Night RAW?
Yes, pro-wrestling is labeled as “fake,” but what Vince McMahon has created in WWE is a billion dollar industry – and anything with that kind of value is a big deal when it stops in your town.
As reported in an article by Jerry Palleschi of ESPN 99.1 on Monday, WWE has been making fairly consistent stops in Sioux Falls and South Dakota since 2002. However, the company didn’t bring one of their television shows to South Dakota until September of last year when the Sioux Empire hosted Smackdown Live!
It was then announced shortly after that on July 2nd, 2018, Monday Night RAW would be coming to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
Attendance during Monday’s show was strong. Palleschi of ESPN 99.1 said numbers for Smackdown Live! were solid, but tickets sales for RAW were even more impressive.
“Going into Monday Night RAW, [event center staff] told me that WWE was ecstatic with the way attendance was turning out,” said Palleschi. “When they originally planned the show, it looked as if they were planning on just selling tickets for the lower bowl, but that changed.”
For the past two weeks, upper level seats became available on Ticketmaster, due to the lower level and floor seats being completely sold out, and there still being demand from the public about going to the event.
Roughly 8,500 people attended the Monday Night RAW show. Everyone from kids, adults, males, and females were there – a show for everyone.
The question now is, will the WWE plan a return trip at some point?
“I do and I think it’s because of the attendance from the fans, along with the support given by the PREMIER Center staff behind the scenes as well,” said Palleschi. “It’s something that is appreciated by companies, promoters, or performers when they visit a community. All signs point to an A+ experience from everyone involved.”
Another aspect that could throw a wildcard into the deck is what’s happening in Rapid City with plans on the table to construct a new events center by late summer/early fall of 2021. WWE made a stop in Rapid City last Friday for a ‘Live Event’ show, and it’s a place they’ve stopped in the past as well.
Chris Tubbs of SB Nation Radio and host of the ‘Breaking Kayfabe’ pro-wrestling podcast thinks Rapid City makes complete sense as a future stop on the pro-wrestling tour, as it pertains to a Smackdown Live! or Monday Night RAW television show.
“I think Rapid City is a great spot for a televised show location. Sioux Falls could get a RAW and Rapid City could get a Smackdown or vice versa,” said Tubbs. “I would love to see Rapid City to be able to host, because there’s nothing else around there. It can work to Rapid City’s advantage because they are a big market of their own that is going to be attractive for companies touring the country.”
Even though it’s hard to predict the future, the fact that Sioux Falls, and soon-to-be Rapid City, has state of the art facilities. These are the types of venues that WWE is attracted towards, and come 2021, to have two of them in the same state – that’s huge.