Duncan Leslie, WWE’s senior vice president of Event Technical Operations, did an interview with The Wrap about the operations of the ThunderDome.
According to Leslie, the idea behind the ThunderDome was to let WWE give fans an immersive experience as they could, by using technology.
Leslie also confirmed that the ThunderDome is expensive but “worth it”. So worth it that, even when fans return, the ThunderDome will not disappear completely.
“We don’t want to just shed all the learning and the accomplishments that we’ve created with the ThunderDome,” said Leslie.
“We developed it, we planned for it, we executed it, and now it’s up to creative to decide how they want to implement it in the longterm,” he added.
According to Leslie, there is no real difference between what the “virtual crowd” sees and TV viewers see aside from the fact that there is a slight delay on TV versus the live feed being sent to the virtual crowds’ screens.
He also revealed that the “fake crowd” noise in ThunderDome isn’t totally “fake”. They use a “virtual audience mix” that is pumped into the arena during the broadcast, but they also add some real reaction noise from the virtual audiences by unmuting their screens.
Finally, for those who were wondering, Leslie confirmed that “ThunderDome” was taken from the third Mad Max movie released in 1985.