ST. PETERSBURG — While WrestleMania stands as WWE’s flagship yearly spectacle, the Royal Rumble undoubtedly ranks as the global sports entertainment company’s most entertaining event.
Following WrestleMania’s stint at Raymond James Stadium in April 2021, Tropicana Field has been chosen as the venue for the 37th Royal Rumble, scheduled for Saturday, January 27th, as officially announced by WWE on Wednesday morning.
Though ticket sales have not commenced, enthusiasts eager to be part of the action can sign up for pre-sale access opportunities.
“Tampa Bay has long been a terrific market for WWE,” John Porco, WWE’s executive vice president of live events, said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to a fantastic schedule of events in January.”
Two days after the Royal Rumble, WWE’s Monday Night Raw will happen at Amalie Arena.
“Team Tampa Bay loved hosting WrestleMania 37 two years ago and we’re beyond excited to have the opportunity to collaborate again with our longtime friends at WWE,” said Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, also in a prepared statement. “Royal Rumble Weekend in January 2024 will be a phenomenal regional effort.”
The marquee attractions of the event are the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches. Each of these matches features 30 competitors who face elimination when thrown over the top ring rope, their feet making contact with the floor signifying their exit from the contest. The ultimate prize for the last man and woman standing is the opportunity to challenge for a championship at the next WrestleMania, slated to be held in April in Philadelphia.
Yet, the excitement of these matches hinges not only on the action but also on the anticipation they generate. The Royal Rumble kicks off with just two competitors, and every 90 seconds, a new wrestler enters the fray, with a countdown clock heightening the suspense.
Fans eagerly await the reveal of the next entrant as their theme music blares throughout the arena. The element of surprise is a cherished tradition, where sometimes a competitor emerges from retirement or returns from injury, and occasionally, WWE introduces a new star who makes their debut in the Royal Rumble.
In the midst of this, fans play an active role, vocally counting down the final seconds on the clock and passionately cheering or booing their favorite or disliked wrestlers as they enter the ring.
Caleb Peterson, the senior business development manager of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, which played a role in bringing the event to the area, expressed his anticipation for welcoming WWE fans.
Last year’s Royal Rumble, hosted in San Antonio, Texas, achieved the distinction of being the most viewed and highest-grossing edition in WWE history. Ticket sales for the event reached a staggering total of over $7.7 million, more than doubling the previous high set in 2017.
The 2024 Royal Rumble will mark the third time this prestigious event has graced Tampa Bay, but it will be the second occasion with fans in attendance. Looking back to the 1995 Royal Rumble held at the Yuengling Center, formerly known as the USF Sun Dome, it remains memorable for one of the event’s iconic moments.
Following a tag team match loss, WWE’s Bam Bam Bigelow expressed his frustration by pushing NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, who happened to be seated in the front row. This incident garnered significant mainstream sports attention and ultimately led to a match between the two at WrestleMania.
In 2021, it was also at Tropicana Field, but without a live crowd due to the pandemic.
“We are excited to welcome WWE back to Tropicana Field for the 2024 Royal Rumble,” Tampa Bay Rays president Matt Silverman said in a statement. “The Royal Rumble will provide first-class sports entertainment to both those seeing the action in person and watching as part of a worldwide television audience.”
If you want to go
To register for pre-sale opportunities, visit wwe.com/royalrumble-2024-presale.
Royal Rumble Priority Passes will also soon be available. These provide the chance to be ringside and meet the performers, plus exclusive merchandise and accommodations. Visit onlocationexp.com/royalrumble.