WrestleMania is WWE's biggest show of the year, without question. Beginning in 1985 inside Madison Square Garden, WrestleMania has grown into a week-long festival-type event. The WWE Universe emigrates from across the globe to one location to celebrate everything in the world of WWE.
Due to the size, stature and history of the event, WrestleMania regularly generates the largest crowd attendance for WWE during the calendar year. The WWE Universe often fills huge stadiums to maximum capacity, regularly breaking the indoor attendance record at the hosting venue.
Venues such as Madison Square Garden, MetLife Stadium, Raymond James Stadium, AT&T Stadium and more have all had the distinct honor of hosting WrestleMania for their respective cities.
Despite WWE releasing official attendance numbers for WrestleMania events, the actual attendance numbers are often disputed. WWE has gone on record stating that it's not just paid fans that are included in official attendances. Ushers, ticket takers and stadium personnel are also counted as part of the official attendance.
Let's take a closer look at the five largest WWE WrestleMania attendances.
#5 WWE WrestleMania 23 (80,103)
WWE WrestleMania 23 was a homecoming of sorts for WWE. The event marked 20 years since WWE presented WrestleMania III from the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontaic, Michigan, where Hulk Hogan famously bodyslammed Andre The Giant.
To celebrate the occasion, WWE wanted to bring WrestleMania back to Michigan for the 20th anniversary of the event. So it was announced WrestleMania 23 would emanate from inside Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
The event was a monumental success for WWE and the local Detroit area. WrestleMania 23 set an all-time Ford Field attendance record of 80,103 people. WWE also announced this capacity crowd of 80,103 people included members of the WWE Universe from all 50 U.S states, 24 countries around the world and nine Canadian provinces. The huge crowd makes it the 5th highest attendance in WrestleMania history.
The event was main evented by John Cena successfully defending his WWE Championship against Shawn Michaels from Monday Night RAW. The card also featured The Undertaker defeating Batista to successfully capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and maintain his WrestleMania undefeated streak.
WrestleMania 23 is also remembered for the Mr. McMahon vs Donald Trump Hair vs. Hair match dubbed "The Battle of the Billionaires." This saw ECW Champion Bobby Lashley defeat Umaga with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee. This resulted in Mr. McMahon having his head shaved bald.
#4 WWE WrestleMania 29 (80,676)
WWE WrestleMania 29 took place on April 7, 2013, emanating from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The event marked the first time WrestleMania had taken place in New Jersey since WrestleMania V in 1989.
WrestleMania 29 was a huge commercial success for WWE and the local New Jersey area. The event drew a capacity crowd of 80,676 fans, making WrestleMania 29 the 4th highest attended event in WrestleMania history. The event also broke the record at the time for the highest grossing live event in WWE history, grossing $72 million for the company.
WrestleMania 29 was headlined by a rematch between John Cena and The Rock from the previous year's WrestleMania. Their first encounter was dubbed "Once in a Lifetime," however, this rematch was centered around The Rock defending the WWE Championship against John Cena who won the 2013 Royal Rumble match. John Cena defeated The Rock to reclaim the WWE Championship, with The Rock "passing the torch" to Cena once the match was over.
The event also featured several other high profile matches. The Undertaker extended his WrestleMania undefeated streak to 21-0 by defeating CM Punk. Triple H also defeated Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred match. Had Triple H lost the match, he would have been forced to retire.
#3 WWE WrestleMania 35 (82,265)
WWE WrestleMania 35 took place on April 7, 2019, emanating once again from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This was the second WrestleMania event to take place inside MetLife Stadium, with the first being WrestleMania 29 six years prior in 2013.
The entertainment spectacular was once again a huge success and historic event for WWE. WrestleMania 35 drew a capacity crowd of 82,265 fans. This meant WrestleMania 35 became the third highest attended event in WrestleMania history.
WrestleMania 35 was historic for featuring the first-ever Women's main event in WrestleMania history. RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey, SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch faced off in a triple threat match to close the show. The match was billed as a "Winner Takes All" match for both the RAW and SmackDown Women's Championships. Becky Lynch won the match after controversially pinning Ronda Rousey.
WrestleMania 35 also featured several other high profile matches on the lengthy card. Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar in quick fashion to open the show and become the WWE Universal Champion. Shane McMahon defeated The Miz in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Kofi-Mania ran wild as Kofi Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan to win the WWE Championship for the first time.
WrestleMania 35 was also the first WrestleMania since WrestleMania 2000, nineteen years prior, to not feature an appearance or match by The Undertaker.
WrestleMania 35 also featured the final matches for two WWE legends before their respective retirements. Baron Corbin defeated Kurt Angle in his retirement match. Whereas Triple H defeated former Evolution teammate Batista in a No Holds Barred match. Had Triple H lost the match, he would have been forced to retire from in-ring competition. However, after the event, Batista announced his retirement.
#2 WWE WrestleMania III (93,173)
WWE WrestleMania III took place on March 29, 1987, emanating from Pontiac Michigan from inside the Pontiac Silverdome. This marked the first time WrestleMania had taken place in Michigan and also the first time WWE had selected a stadium or dome to host the showcase of the immortals.
WrestleMania III is often recognized and noted as the pinnacle of WWE's success in the 1980s with the Golden Era of WWE. WrestleMania III was viewed by close to 1 million fans at 160 closed-circuit locations across North America. It is also estimated several million fans watched the event via pay-per-view.
WrestleMania III is often remembered fondly due to the then-WWE record attendance of 93,173 fans. At the time, this was the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor event in North America.
The event also generated WWE a reported $1.6 million in ticket sales in addition to an estimated $10.3 million in pay-per-view revenue, which was also a record at the time.
With its attendance of 93,173 fans, WrestleMania III is the second highest attended WrestleMania in WWE history. WWE's record for the largest record attendance for a live indoor event in North America stood for 12 years until January 27, 1999. The record was surpassed by Pope John Paul II, who drew a record crowd of 104,000 people with a papal mass at the TWA Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.
WrestleMania III was headlined by the historic encounter of Hulk Hogan defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Andre The Giant. Hogan famously bodyslammed The Giant before hitting a leg drop to secure victory.
WrestleMania III also featured one of the greatest matches in the history of professional wrestling as Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat defeated "Macho Man" Randy Savage to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
#1 WWE WrestleMania 32 (101,763)
WWE WrestleMania 32 took place on April 3, 2016, emanating from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This was the first WrestleMania to take place in the state of Texas since WrestleMania 25 in 2009.
WrestleMania 32 was an historic event for a variety of reasons. WWE announced that the event had broken multiple WWE company records. This included a new WWE attendance record of 101,763 fans inside the stadium. While this number has been disputed, it is universally agreed that WrestleMania 32 is the highest attended WrestleMania event in WWE history.
WWE also announced the event set the then-record for the highest grossing live event in the company's history, grossing $17.3 million, beating the previous record set at WrestleMania 31.
WrestleMania 32 was headlined by Triple H defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns. Despite a negative crowd reaction to the match, Roman Reigns defeated Triple H, capturing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the process.
The event also featured appearances from WWE legends such as The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley. All of whom got physically involved without being involved in official matches.
WrestleMania 32 also featured other high-profile matches such as The Undertaker defeating Shane McMahon in a Hell in a Cell match, Brock Lesnar defeating Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Street Fight and Charlotte Flair defeating Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks to become the inaugural WWE Women's Champion.