WWE had problems selling tickets ahead of Sunday's Stomping Grounds pay-per-view, and sales didn't exactly pick up on the day of the show.
The lower bowl of the Tacoma Dome looked practically filled up, but attendance was still extremely low for an arena that sits 23,000. Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Ringside News), "heard" that there were 6,000 fans at the show, with "4,000 to 4,500 paid."
Alvarez also heard that WWE was giving away tickets at a mall. He also brought up the fact that WWE was offering two-for-one tickets. Last week, Dave Meltzer reported that tickets were going for as low as $20, and he pointed out how tickets for pay-per-view events are almost never that cheap.
WWE insider Brad Shepard received some input from a company source about how bad the preparation was for Stomping Grounds. A source told Shepard that there was "a total lack of planning behind the scenes." They also said "a lack of proper build" was a reason for the low ticket sales.
And finally, Shepard also heard that WWE producers and agents were hoping that Stomping Grounds would "provide a clean slate." Now that the show is over with, WWE can move on and begin afresh.
The event itself did not lack entertainment and interesting matches. Becky Lynch helped Seth Rollins retain his Universal Championship over Baron Corbin, as The Architect was receiving unfavorable treatment from special guest referee Lacey Evans. Bayley's SmackDown Women's Championship match against Alexa Bliss was also excellent in terms of quality and pace.
What This Means
It's quite surprising in some ways that WWE had such a problem selling tickets. Tacoma isn't far from Seattle, a major city that's held many big WWE events. As Alvarez noted, you just don't hear stories about WWE having to hand out tickets to a pay-per-view. But again, the company executed the show better than we expected - now they can build upon this and try to get things going ahead of SummerSlam.