Ohio sets the stage for WWE, an undisputed economy champion

COLUMBUS — The state of Ohio is set to welcome World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Superstars and spectators to the Heart of it All this summer as a line-up of Ohio events kicks off tonight, Monday, June 10, with WWE’s flagship show Monday Night Raw airing live from the Huntington Center in Toledo.

Ohioans and visitors will have several of opportunities to catch high-flying, suplex-ing action throughout the season, as Raw is set to return mid-July to the Nutter Center in Dayton, and on Aug. 2, Friday Night SmackDown will air from the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland. The final chance fans will have to get in on the Ohio action this summer is Aug. 3 when Summer Slam will be live from Cleveland Browns Stadium.

“We’re excited to welcome the WWE — the recognized global leader in sports entertainment – back to Ohio several times this summer so thousands of wrestling fans near and far have a chance to experience these events live and in person here in the Buckeye State,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Department of Development. “These events will not only be an economic superkick to the state and host cities, but they’ll also showcase to visitors why Ohio is the undisputed champion of being the best place to live, work, and visit!”

According to recent TourismOhio research, more than 10 percent of overnight visitors came to Ohio for a special event in 2023, and an impressive 84 percent of overnight visitors also said they were likely to revisit Ohio within the next 12 months.

The State of Ohio recently awarded more than $1.6 million in tax credits to WWE through the Ohio Department of Development’s Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit program to support the productions in Ohio.

Toledo’s Monday Night Raw event tonight is set to be a sold out show with nearly 7,000 tickets sold.

“WWE has consistently drawn large crowds in Toledo, and Monday Night Raw is expected to entertain thousands of visitors and residents alike,” said Lance Woodworth, President & CEO of Destination Toledo. “This event underscores WWE’s enduring appeal and exemplifies the kind of experiences that bring people to our city. For fans in neighboring states, this is an excellent opportunity to enjoy WWE’s thrilling entertainment while exploring the lively atmosphere of Toledo’s downtown.”

Cleveland will welcome SummerSlam for the first time since 1996. Considered one of WWE’s biggest Premium Live Events of the year, it’s expected to make a tremendous economic impact for the region as Cleveland welcomes attendees from across the nation and the globe. The event comes off a record-setting 2023 SummerSlam in Detroit, MI, a record-breaking 2024 Royal Rumble in St. Petersburg, FL, and the most-successful and highest-grossing event in WWE company history, WrestleManiaXL in Philadelphia, PA.

Along with the marquee event, other events including Friday Night Smackdown will take place in Cleveland the night before to kick off the weekend.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to host both Friday Night SmackDown and SummerSlam this August, as it further strengthens Cleveland’s growing reputation as a premier city to host major events in the U.S.,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “This year’s SummerSlam is expected to be the largest WWE event ever hosted in Ohio and will bring significant economic impact to our community as it highlights Cleveland’s vibrant downtown, authentic experiences and exciting attractions.”

For many of the WWE Superstars, these events will be a return trip home. Ohio has produced some of the top names in the professional wrestling industry for generations, including The Miz and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Today, several WWE Superstars began their journeys to the most prestigious squared circle in the industry from high school and collegiate mats or regional promotion rings right here in Ohio.

Operating within the Ohio Department of Development, TourismOhio works to showcase all Ohio has to offer as a place of adventure, a place of promise, and the place for you.

The Ohio Department of Development empowers communities to succeed by investing in Ohio’s people, places, and businesses. Learn more about our work at development.ohio.gov.


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