In a press conference held over the phone this Tuesday the 15th, UFC president Dana White spoke of the significant growth the event has experienced, proven by the spike in pay-per-view packages sold and the success in ticket sales at the events held around the world.
“It’s truly phenomenal the success we’ve seen in ticket sales around the world. We made $11 million in ticket sales for UFC 129 in Toronto. In Australia (UFC 127, February 27), it will be around US$ 3.5 million; we made US$ 4.5 million in Montreal, in Ireland, US$ 1.6 million; and the last time we did Vancouver we made US$ 4.2 million,” recounts Dana White, who celebrated a record 55 thousand tickets sold for UFC 129, set for April 30.
The event, for the first time ever to be held in a stadium, Toronto’s Rogers Centre, is already a landmark in UFC history. The 42 thousand tickets sold out in minutes. Due to the enormous demand, this number was subsequently raised to 55 thousand, which also quickly sold out.
“I always talk about how big an event like this can be in Canada and how the UFC is growing internationally. It was exceptional that we sold 55 thousand tickets. A record. But the question is: ow many people were looking for tickets? 25 thousand? 30 thousand, maybe?” queried the UFC president.
Dana admitted that, due to the enormous worldwide growth of the event, the day will come when events will have to be held simultaneously in different countries.
“We’re taking everything up a level. The UFC is taking on bigger proportions. I have no doubt that it will be the most popular sport in the world. And the day will come – I can’t believe I’m going to say this – but the day will come when we will hold, for example, an event in Las Vegas and another in Australia on the same day. That’s the direction we’re heading,” he declared.
The UFC head further highlighted the impact of the event in the city and ticket sales around the world.
“The economic impact the UFC will have in the city of Toronto on the weekend of UFC 129 will be around US$ 40 million and that’s conservative. Just taxes on tickets will be at US$ 1.5 million,” he explained.
Dana also touched on the subject of the abusive prices charged by boxing events and said that he hopes all UFC fans are able to buy tickets.
“Boxing doesn’t sell tickets to diehard fans because, simply, they can’t pay for them. They charge ridiculous prices, like US$ 5 thousand, and all the casinos buy the tickets. The reality is that we sold 55 thousand tickets to UFC 129 and everyone who bought them was a fan. We want to keep doing things that way,” he said in finishing.