93,173….The number most hardcore wrestling fans will be able to recite at least the first two digits. A number that has been the record wrestling attendance since that day on March 29, 1987. I never doubted it. How could you? Look at that photo. There isn’t a seat in the house visibly empty.

But then one day I came across some discussion online disputing that this was the real number. That the WWE had fabricated the number . Surely you jest! I’ve lived the majority of my life with the thought that Wrestlemania 3 was
the largest indoor attendance record for a sporting event until the NBA all star game a few years back in ATT stadium (The home of Sunday’s Wrestlemania 32).   

Apparently, this entire debate stems from Dave Meltzer, from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter . Those of you probably reading know that Mr. Meltzer is very respected for having the most accurate knowledge and high level sources within WWE. I am a subscriber to his website. However, as much as I would die on a hill defending something Meltzer says it true, I can not believe him on this.

It makes no logical sense.

Usually when Meltzer makes a claim it is a leap of faith-based upon his history that we believe him. Afterall, he must protect his sources and so therefore can’t be expected to provide proof. However, in this discussion, there is no rumor or opinion. There was a certain amount of human beings in the Pontiac Silverdome that day in 1987.

Meltzer’s only proof is that he claims that Zane Bresloff, who promoted Wrestlemania 3 in Michigan for McMahon, told him. On recent Wrestling Observer Radio shows, fans have attempted to debate him and ask him to explain the rationale for the number being fabricated. Meltzer stoically just says “it just was” or “around 80,000” when asked what the real number was. Meltzer had unfortunately never provided the actual number just “around” something which is odd in it’s own right. You would think there should be a source that has the actual number.

The counter to Meltzer’s argument is this, it doesn’t make any sense logically.

Every official authority on the attendance at Wrestlemania 3 has claimed 93,173. Every person on this planet who disputes this points to Dave Meltzer’s word on this. There are ZERO certified sources that claim anything other than the 93,173 number.

To say that the WWE fabricated the number would mean that the Pontiac Silverdome fabricated the number of seats in their building. To say that the WWE fabricated the number would mean that the NFL and the Detroit Lions fabricated their capacity and attendance for 30 years.

Guinness World Records for years had certified the 93,173 figure.

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Logically, it is easy to see that around 80,000 isn’t the right answer by far. The Silverdome had a seating capacity in the stands of 80-83,000 depending on the year. By all accounts and images available, the stands seem completely full. Not a seat empty in any photo or camera angle from the event. So the 80,000 is probably a good baseline but FAR from the actual number. Add into the mass floor space that was filled and to me 93173 seems logical. Maybe not accurate but within a few hundred would be my guess.

Zane Bresloff also promoted events for WCW during the 90’s so it may also be important to know when he told Meltzer this information. Until an authority of record stats that it was something different than 93,173, then that is the number we all should go with.