Royal Rumble is one of WWE’s biggest pay-per-views of the year and officially kicks off The Road to WrestleMania. The event will be highlighted by a 30-man over-the-top-rope Royal Rumble Match featuring WWE Superstars from both Raw and SmackDown LIVE, where the winner will receive a title opportunity to headline WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida on April 2, 2017.
The Alamodome previously hosted the 1997 Royal Rumble, where more than 60,000 fans witnessed WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin win the Royal Rumble Match and WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels win the WWE Championship.
Forgoing a traditional arena in favor of a venue that seats more than 60,000 signals that WWE is looking to set a new Royal Rumble attendance record. Back in 1997, the event drew an estimated 65,000, though there are reports that indicate the figure was closer to 60,500.
The 1997 Royal Rumble is one of the few times where the rumble match itself was not the main event. Breaking tradition, the card had Sycho Sid defending his WWE Championship against San Antonio native Shawn Michaels. The Heartbreak Kid was victorious, winning his second world championship in the process.
Considering WWE’s growing popularity with rising stars (Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayan, Finn Balor) and amazing athleticism (the cruiserweights), the company could easily sell the building out and set a new record.