During the years that wrestling was taped at WRAL channel 5 in Raleigh (1959-1981), admission was free for the 300 or so folks that could be seated on the bleachers in studio A, but you had to write in for tickets.
Each week Bob Caudle would give TV viewers instructions on how to request those tickets:
That was in the mid-1970s. It was so simple then, you didn't even need a PO Box number or a zip code. Just Tickets, WRAL TV, Raleigh, North Carolina. Later, they would add the PO Box 12000.
Over the years, the tickets changed in appearance. By the end of the run at WRAL, they were actually sending you a letter instead of tickets.
I'm not sure which I format I liked better! The tickets are very cool, but the letter I received in April of 1981 to attend my one and only taping at WRAL was very special for different reasons. It was on Jim Crockett Promotions letterhead and had the Mid-Atlantic and Wide World Wrestling logos at the bottom, as well as the logo for the other family business, the Charlotte O's baseball team.
All of the logos were in color, and I've always regretted not making a color copy of the letter. But color copiers were very rare in 1981, and even if you found one, the copy was very expensive to make.
I am fortunate to have been able to attend a taping at WRAL. In August of 1981, four months after my visit, Jim Crockett Promotions moved the taping of the shows to WPCQ-36 studios in Charlotte.
- Dick Bourne
For more on the three decades of TV tapings at WRAL, see this article on the Studio Wrestling website. : Television History: WRAL-5 Raleigh, NC
This article is mirrored at the Studio Wrestling website, part of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.