JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There was a big event Saturday night at Daily’s Place outside TIAA Bank Field, but wasn’t football or a concert. It was a professional wrestling show funded by Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s son, Tony Khan.
The new All Elite Wrestling, or AEW, hosted its first live event in Jacksonville called Fight for the Fallen.
The Khan family has invested millions into AEW, which is trying to be a top player in a business that generates at least hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
AEW is not yet on weekly TV yet, though there have been regular pay-per-view events. But Saturday night's event in Jacksonville -- the first one to come to where the company is headquartered -- was livestreamed for free on Bleacher Report.
The event was called Fight for the Fallen because part of the proceeds go to victims of gun violence, which is something that Tony Khan said was very important to him when he started this promotion in January because of recent violence in Jacksonville.
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Die-hard wrestling fans, including locals and people who drove hours to see Saturday night's event, were excited.
Quita Henderson traveled from the Netherlands.
"We're excited," Henderson said. "I didn’t know what to expect because my son, he’s in Amsterdam, Holland. He’s the only one wearing this T-shirt, and everyone is wearing this T-shirt so it’s very special."
Valentino Nelson traveled south from Michigan.
"I bought my tickets a couple months ago," Nelson said.
This is just the beginning for AEW. It recently announced a TV deal and will start a weekly television show in October on TNT Drama. There’s a lot of debate on whether it can dethrone the top company in the professional wrestling world, which is World Wrestling Entertainment.
"It's cool that something like this comes here because not a lot of wrestling events come to Jacksonville," AEW fan Daniel Boyd said.
At the end of the event, Shad Khan presented a $150,000 donation to the Jacksonville's Victim Assistance Advisory Council on behalf of AEW wrestlers and Farrah and Farrah.
At conclusion of last night’s Fight for the Fallen at Daily’s Place, @Jaguars Owner and @AEWrestling Principal Shad Khan presented a $150K donation to the Jacksonville’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council on behalf of AEW wrestlers and Farrah and Farrah. pic.twitter.com/e5eOQacaIX— Daily's Place (@dailysplace) July 14, 2019