PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — WWE Backlash returned to Providence on Sunday night for the first time in 13 years.
A sold-out crowd of thousands filled the Dunkin Donuts Center and one local business says keep events like this coming because it’s great for business.
“Let’s get the city to do more things like that, let’s get more events like this in the convention center,” Patrick Cohen said.
Hours before the wrestling event, foot traffic was at local bars and restaurants.
“We opened up at four o’clock, we turned the restaurant four or five times. People were in town for this wrestling thing, it was a very busy Sunday,” Cohen said.
Patrick Cohen, the bar manager at nearby Murphy’s Pub, says the crowds rivaled those during the Friars NCAA run.
“What we got today was similar to like when PC were doing good in the NCAA tournament. When they kept winning and winning, the crowds kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Today was one of those days, it kind of caught everyone of guard in the city,” Cohen said.
Cohen says they were prepared, but shocked by the actual turnout.
“We were geared up for it thank god cuz it was so busy. Usually we wouldn’t have this many people on on a Sunday, but we had a full staff in kitchen and house because we needed it. A lot of people for food, a lot of families with signs. People are pumped for this wrestling over here.”
Sunday night’s Backlash is the first premium live pay per view event to return to Providence since April 2009 and this year’s calendar is also the most live events on the WWE calendar.