Stardom has announced their 10th Anniversary show will take place on March 3, 2021, in the biggest venue they’ve booked to date.
The event will be held at the usual home of NJPW’s G1 Finals Nippon Budokan Arena. This is a major upgrade in venue for the women’s wrestling promotion. Last year’s anniversary show took place at Korakuen Hall, a roughly 2,000 seat venue for which they were able to hold 1,602 fans. Nippon Budokan can hold up to 14,471 fans, over seven times the capacity of last year’s location.
Due to pandemic precautions, Japan is currently only allowing 50% capacity in any arena from now until at least the end of February. Assuming Stardom will retain or eclipse their audience from last year’s anniversary show, their 1,602 fans would be reduced to 801 if they ran at Korakuen Hall again. Going to Nippon allows them to seat up to 7,235 fans, which would shatter last year’s attendance.
While no one knows the future of COVID, Stardom’s 10th Anniversary is scheduled to take place in March, with the 50% capacity mandate currently only extending until February. The head of the Japan Medical Association, Toshio Nakagawa, has said Japan has entered the third wave of COVID-19, and if numbers continue to worsen, there could be stricter precautions put in place. If Japan reduced the 50% capacity mandate to as low as 15%, Stardom could still seat up to 2,170 fans in Nippon Budokan. But to make things even more difficult to predict, multiple Covid Vaccines could very well be on the market at the beginning of March 2021 based on current timelines from the Wolrd Health Organisation.
Around this time last year, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s parent company, Bushiroad, purchased the all-women’s promotion. NJPW is scheduled to hold the Wrestle Kingdom over the course of two nights, January 4 and 5, at the Tokyo Dome. While the two-night Wrestle Kingdom is nothing new for New Japan, this year’s weekend-long event makes a lot of sense. The Tokyo Dome can hold up to 55,000 people, which would be reduced to 27,500 with the 50% capacity mandate. Holding the event over two days would allow NJPW to get all 55,000 seats filled, just split between two days. It’s possible that Bushiroad pushed Sardom to move their anniversary show to a bigger arena because they want the promotion to follow their strategy.