May 3, 2004
RAW coming to Winnipeg in July
By KEVIN ENGSTROM -- Winnipeg Sun
This isn't a Stone Cold Stunner -- Monday Night Raw is coming to Winnipeg. WWE's flagship television program will air live from the Winnipeg Arena on July 5, hometown hero Chris Jericho confirmed on a local radio call-in show last night.
"It's going to be great and the fans of Winnipeg deserve this," Jericho told 92 CITI FM listeners.
Jericho's announcement comes after more than a month of speculation that Raw -- often the highest-rated show on U.S. cable TV -- would be coming here.
Raw will broadcast one night before the company tapes its other major television show, Smackdown, at the Arena for a Thursday night airing on U.S. network UPN.
Local World Wrestling Entertainment promoter Bob Holliday said an official announcement would be made on tonight's Raw broadcast, which can be seen locally on TSN.
The overwhelming demand from local wrestling fans for Smackdown tickets led to the company's decision to bring Raw here, said Holliday. About 800 tickets remain for the July 6 Smackdown taping.
"The Manitoba wrestling fans have really come through and given a great response to Smackdown," said Holliday. "Raw wouldn't have come here without that kind of response."
There are only a handful of times in the past five years that WWE has opted to run both shows from the same venue on successive nights, said Holliday. Raw and Smackdown are seen in more than 100 countries and in 13 different languages.
Tickets for Raw range from $25 to $50 and go on sale to the general public Saturday at all Select-A-Seat outlets. However, those who have already bought Smackdown tickets will have the first crack at Raw tickets.
Holliday said those who show up at Select-A-Seat outlets Thursday and Friday (before 5:30 p.m.) with their Smackdown tickets will be allowed to purchase tickets for Raw on a first-come, first-serve basis.