WWE confirms ThunderDome moving to the Yuengling Center in Tampa

Originally published at WWE confirms ThunderDome moving to the Yuengling Center in Tampa

WWE has confirmed its latest home for the ThunderDome with the company remaining in the Tampa area after WrestleMania.

WWE will set up shop at the Yuengling Center in Tampa on the University of South Florida campus. The first event at the Yuengling Center is on Monday, April 12th with WWE Raw airing the night after WrestleMania 37.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Jon Alba of Spectrum Sports 360 had both reported deep talks the company was engaged in with the venue as its next home. On Tuesday, Mike Johnson of PWinsider.com confirmed they were moving to the new venue after WrestleMania.

In a release from the company, WWE executive producer Kevin Dunn stated:

WWE takes great pride in providing our fans and network partners with cutting-edge production and one of the most interactive atmospheres in all of television every single week. We look forward to the next iteration of the WWE ThunderDome at Yuengling Center as we continue to take the fan experience to a whole new level.

This will be the third residency for the ThunderDome, which was introduced last August at the Amway Center in Orlando. It came when television numbers had dropped dramatically with Raw and Friday Night SmackDown being held at the Performance Center from the start of the pandemic in March.

They moved to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida in December and will hold their final tapings next week including the go-home episodes of Raw and Friday Night SmackDown to air the following week leading into WrestleMania. The Tampa Bay Rays are set to begin their upcoming season at Tropicana Field on Friday, April 9th.

The Yuengling Center, formerly the USF Sun Dome, opened in 1980 and hosted several editions of Saturday Night’s Main Event in the ‘80s as well as the Royal Rumble in 1995. The UFC and Bellator have also run events from the 10,000+ seat venue.

Quite a bit of WWE history in the Yuengling Center (known at the time of these events as the Sun Dome).

Terry Funk and Hulk Hogan wrestled on the fourth edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event airing on January 4, 1986 (taped on December 19, 1985). They also taped the nineteenth edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event there as well airing on January 7th, 1989.

The British Bulldogs lost the WWF Tag Team Titles in the Sun Dome on the February 7th 1987 edition of Superstars of Wrestling (taped on January 26th). They also did the famous Piper’s Pit interview with Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant on that episode. Hulk Hogan accepted Andre’s challenge for Wrestlemania 3 the following week. Barry Darsow played Smash of Demolition for the first time was on the Valentine’s day episode. Another episode of Superstars was also taped that day.

Shawn Michaels won his first Royal Rumble in 1995 in the SunDome and Bam Bam Bigelow pushed Lawrence Taylor.