NJPW Chairman Takaaki Kidani Addresses Poor NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam In MetLife Dome Attendances
What is to be done?
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect New Japan Pro-Wrestling shows and the company's Wrestle Grand Slam In MetLife Dome events on September 4 and September 5 took place in front of a largely empty arena.
The MetLife Dome in Saitama, Japan can hold 33,000 people but only 2,095 attended the September 4 show and 2,780 spectators were in the stadium on September 5 because of the ongoing pandemic.
NJPW Chairman Takaaki Kidani reflected on the poor attendances following the weekend of action with Tokyo Sports, saying: "We have to humbly accept the situation and reflect on it. The Corona disaster has put not only professional wrestling but the entire event industry in a difficult situation."
New Japan have been missing foreign star power throughout the pandemic and the likes of Jay White and Will Ospreay are two of several gaijins who have reportedly refused to wrestle in Japan until COVID-19 quarantine restrictions are lifted.
Kidani has refused to blame NJPW's struggles on the lack of foreign wrestlers, though, and he believes the situation would be helped if New Japan had more matches on the card.
"We can't blame the lack of foreign players, but it would be good if we could increase the number of matches. On both shows, the line-up consisted of five matches in order to avoid dense locker rooms and other problems caused by corona," Kidani added.
Translated using DeepL