Our own Thomas Fenton is reporting, NJPW will return to the United States on July 7th and so far, it has not had a great start for ticket sales. The first day ticket sales were only 2,276. The Cow place is configured for the show to hold around 10,000.
With no card yet announced ticket sales could go up, however with a destination type show like this there will be very little walk ups and local sales. While there is nothing to panic about yet, there is concern that the first day of ticket sales were much slower than anticipated. Ticket prices were $300 for the first 3 rows ( those were sold out) and then $150-$40.
There has been alot of second guessing about how NJPW has gone about the US expansion and the shows. They have even been questioned publicly by some of their biggest stars in the company.
I for one have been of the biggest critics in regards to dates and venues selected. My criticism goes back to their first 2 shows in the US on July 1st and 2nd when they first selected the Long Beach Convention Center with a capacity of 2300. While both shows sold out in less than 2 hours I questioned the size of the venue they selected and felt at the time and still do now they could have sold out a 7500-10,000 seat venue during that time.
The shows also featured little to no local or national marketing to sell out so quickly. I also perceive NJPW under valued their US audience as well as their popularity. Fast Forward to on November 5, 2017, NJPW announced the follow-up event to G1 Special in US, Strong Style Evolved to take place on March 25, 2018, at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California. Tickets for the event sold out within 20 minutes, with an attendance just under 4400. I questioned the timing of the year for the show so close to Wrestlemania, however people did travel to the event and the venue looked much more "big time" for NJPW.
While I understand wanting to stay with California to host event, from a cost stand point 4th of July weekend in San Francisco may have priced some people out for traveling. In addition to San Francisco being on of the most expensive cities in the US for lodging, food, and entertainment. I feel for NJPW to contiune to grow and sell out larger venues they will have to expand outside of California and will have to try the mid west or the east coast.
Cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Pittsburgh are much easier for the majority of the country to travel to and the cost is much less. I also feel that doing 2 shows as opposed to doing just 1 show will help people justify the travel expenses. Again these are destination shows, not marketed towards the casual fan or for locals.
While I speak for most of us in saying I hope everything works out great for NJPW and they contiune visiting and trying to expand in the US. However I do think they need to reevaluate what has worked for them here and what has not and eventully expand out of the west coast California market.