Thanks to Reynold Kings for sending in the following report from last night’s TNA iMPACT! tapings:
I attended the TNA tapings at the new Impact zone in Orlando, Florida last night and thought I would send in a few notes from the taping.
The building is adjacent to the Blue Man Group area, which is free to access via CityWalk, and fans no longer have to walk through the Universal Studios theme park to get into the soundstage. <:> The soundstage is very much still a work in progress. There were construction workers literally still drilling things long after everyone was let into the building. There were also black curtains draped over the elevated hard camera platforms and on the railing behind the fans across from the hard camera. Much of the draping there fell off the railing by the time the taping came to an end.
The hard camera section of the soundstage is pretty much empty, other than the few seats aside the ramp and the ADA folks that are now sitting in the first two rows. They previously were on an elevated platform just a few feet away from the hard cameras.
Fans that are sitting opposite of the hard camera, where I sat, get arena-like folding chairs now instead of the uncomfortable benches in the old soundstage. It really does look like a mini version of an arena.
Because the soundstage is about 25% smaller than the previous one, especially in length, the section of seating that held a few good hundred people directly opposite of the stage was not there. Instead, fans that trickled in later in the show were forced to stand behind those seated in front of them.
A Universal Studios employee I spoke to told me that TNA was lucky to get the building because all of the other soundstages on the lot are all apparently in use.
The soundstage was a complete full house. They have a new “ticketing” system this time, which they started handing out before noon, with visitors at the park receiving tickets on a first come, first serve basis. There are four sets of “tickets” — “A”, “B”, “C” and “D” — and they moved on to each succeeding letter until 150-200 of each letter was given out. Those who were not given tickets were told to wait in a holding area to see if they had enough room to let them in, and they eventually all were let in.