WWE seeking injunction for public records request in San Antonio

Originally published at WWE seeking injunction for public records request in San Antonio

WWE is attempting to block the disclosure of its business dealings with the Alamodome in Texas after a public records request for information concerning last year’s Royal Rumble event.

WWE has issued a suit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to seek a declaratory judgment and injunction from Paxton releasing the information through the Texas Public Information Act.

Two parties reached out to the City of San Antonio including Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics for a public records request related to the January 2023 event at The Alamodome. Thurston was seeking information related to “attendance, sales, and communications between the City and WWE”, per the lawsuit.

For full disclosure, Thurston is affiliated with POST Wrestling and does a weekly show with us.

On April 28, 2023, the city objected to the disclosure of the agreement. This decision was reversed by the Office of the Attorney General last month, leading to WWE attempting to block the disclosure.

In October, a second party (“Intelligence Options, LLC.”) made a public records request seeking documents and communications concerning “all bids, requests for proposals, contracts, and agreements” relating to WWE and the City of San Antonio from 2015 onward. This was material that the party was seeking for a lawsuit, which has since been settled.

WWE is arguing that abiding by the Texas Public Information Act would force the company to release “proprietary information of the WWE”, which would benefit its competitors and hold independent economic value by being confidential. The documents also contain WWE’s approach to “pricing, discounts, organizational structure, internal operations, and more as a vendor.”

WWE argues that the Texas Public Information Act contains language that prevents trade secrets from being disclosed

The owner of the trade secret has taken reasonable measures under the circumstances to keep the information secret; and (2) the information derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable through proper means by, another person who can obtain economic value from the disclosure or use of the information.

WWE’s head of global communications Chris Legentil submitted a statement in the suit noting:

The Agreement contains WWE trade secrets that we have intentionally kept secret as sensitive and competitively advantageous information about our internal practices and negotiations with venues. The internal information pertains to our financial terms with venues, ticketing information, and staffing details, including names of employees. The Agreement reveals WWE’s proposed percentage splits, fee structures, waivers, reimbursements to the venue, and comparables, and the Royal Rumble’s estimated value and economic impact. Even within WWE, these terms are discussed only by a select group of internal personnel on a need-to-know basis, and the fully executed agreements are shared only with relevant personnel in WWE’s Finance Department and saved on a drive that is accessible only by the Legal Department.

If this information was made publicly available and Brandon Thurston was permitted to publicize our financial information and negotiated terms on Wrestlenomics, WWE would lose our bargaining power in negotiating all of our live events and much of the value of a bidding process for venues.

In a letter from Assistant Attorney General Michelle Garza to a representative of the City of San Antonio on January 17, 2024, Garza stated, “WWE has failed to provide specific factual evidence demonstrating the information at issue is confidential under section 552.110(b) or section 552.110(c). Therefore, the city may not withhold the submitted information under section 552.100(b) or section 552.110(c).”

WWE is being represented by Holland & Knight LLP and led by attorney Trisha R. DeLeon.