All Elite Wrestling, Windy City Bulls bringing Now Arena back to life
Three televised All Elite Wrestling events expected to draw capacity crowds in early September will start the post-pandemic era of the newly rebranded Now Arena and create the biggest week the Hoffman Estates facility has had since opening in 2006.
"Coming out of COVID, these shows are probably going to set records for us," Now Arena General Manager Ben Gibbs said Wednesday. "For us, it couldn't come at a better time or in a better way."
Announced on television Wednesday night, tickets for will go on sale at 10 a.m. July 9 for AEW Dynamite on Wednesday, Sept. 1; AEW Rampage on Friday, Sept. 3; and AEW All Out on Sunday, Sept. 5.
"We've never done three shows in a week," Gibbs said. "This will be the most business we've ever done in a week."
Though he never doubted the return of the Windy City Bulls -- the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls -- Gibbs said the team has confirmed six game dates at the arena for next season, with more to come.
"They're a huge part of our schedule," he said.
Gibbs expects to announce in July numerous concerts, family shows, theater shows and multicultural shows for the fourth quarter of the year that will demonstrate the pent-up demand many have been talking about for months.
"We're treating Labor Day as being officially back," Gibbs said. "You're going to see way more tours on the road, making up for lost business. I think we're going to announce things we don't even know about yet. Everybody is eager to hit the road and start making money again."
Though the three wrestling events kicking off the arena's reopening will be televised, there's no doubt that fans who are able will want to be there in person, Gibbs said. But the arena will further benefit from the TV exposure because of the awareness of the building and its new name that will bring.
Ten months ago, in the midst of the pandemic, Bloomingdale-based Now Health Group Inc. officially succeeded Sears as the naming-rights partner of the 11,000-seat, village-owned arena after signing a 15-year, $11.25 million deal.