Speaking to Sports Illustrated about the new ThunderDome concept, WWE Executive Vice President of Television Production Kevin Dunn said that moving to the Amway Center will have limitless opportunities after the company was stuck for five months at the much, much smaller WWE Performance Center.
“We can now do things production-wise that we could never otherwise do,” said Dunn. “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.”
Dunn explained that entrances will be big and beautiful and much better than a WrestleMania with lasers, pyro, smoke, and projections onto the roof.
While no fans will be allowed in the arena, the company is looking to provide an arena-type atmosphere with virtual fans. This won’t be done via just a flat LED board similar to what the NBA has, but with several rows of fans and their audio also piped in.
“This is going to let us have a WrestleMania-level production value, and that’s what our audience expects from us. We are also going to put arena audio into the broadcast, similar to baseball, but our audio will be mixed with the virtual fans. So when fans start chants, we’ll hear them,” Dunn said.
And while all this sounds a lot, well, it’s because it really is, and after set up is complete, they will only have two days of “practicing like hell” before it’s showtime on Friday. The plan, according to Dunn, is to be different from other sports and present larger-than-life characters uniquely.
“This will be great for people watching at home across the globe, as well as the ones participating,” Dunn concluded.