All Elite Wrestling is showing signs of revival days before its return to Chicago this week.

Earlier this month, ticket sales for AEW’s return to the Second City were sluggish. According to WrestleTix on June 14, fewer than 3,000 tickets had been distributed for the upcoming Dynamite and Rampage on July 3 at Wintrust Arena, which was initially configured to accommodate 3,277 fans.

However, as AEW commentator Jim Ross would say, business has picked up.

WrestleTix now reports that 3,634 tickets have been distributed, and Wintrust Arena has adjusted its setup to host 4,320 fans. Despite this improvement, AEW needs to sell more tickets to avoid setting a company low for attendance in Chicago. The previous record was set on Sept. 2 last year, with 4,493 attending Collision at the United Center the day before All Out in the same building.

Several factors might explain AEW’s struggle to draw in a market it once dominated. Since 2020, AEW has held 11 shows in Chicago, leading some to believe that the market is oversaturated. Additionally, the firing of hometown hero CM Punk and WWE’s recent success in Illinois, including a live SmackDown in Chicago, might have influenced fans’ decisions.

The timing of the event, a day before the July 4 holiday, could also be affecting ticket sales as fans may have Independence Day plans. Moreover, there are concerns about the quality of the product, with ratings and ticket sales declining for months.

Despite these challenges, AEW’s annual event, Forbidden Door, taking place this weekend at UBS Arena in Long Island, NY, has distributed over 10,000 tickets. The card features 14 matches, including the pay-per-view return of MJF and Swerve Strickland defending the AEW World Championship against Will Ospreay.

The success of Forbidden Door could significantly impact AEW’s return to Chicago on Wednesday, potentially boosting ticket sales and fan enthusiasm.

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