Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Historic Night for UFC
Saturday, April 30th marked a historic night for the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 129 in Toronto.  The fight card for the night featured great fights and big storylines.  Randy Couture in the final fight of his legendary career getting knocked out in the blink of an eye by Lyoto Machida.  Jose Aldo making his UFC debut against Canadian Mark Hominick in a fight that went on to earn fight of the night honors.  The headliner for the night belonged to Canadian superstar Georges St. Pierre retaining his welterweight belt by beating his “toughest opponent yet” in Jake Shields. 

In addition to the headlines, UFC 129 produced some record numbers.  The 55,724 people in attendance UFC 129 more than doubled the previous attendance record of about 23,000 at UFC 124.  UFC 129 also shattered the previous ticket revenue number of $5.4 million when they brought in about $12.1 million on Saturday night. 
The Ultimate Fighting Championship isn’t the only one benefitting from the record event.  UFC President Dana White predicted an economic impact of $40 million for the city of Toronto.  With the pre-fight media events, pre-fight parties, weigh-in event, and post-fight celebrations to supplement the big fight night, a $40 million figure is definitely realistic.  Helping out in reaching that number is the fact that the Ontario Athletic Commission (OAC) receives 5% of the ticket sales.  UFC 129 sold $12.1 million in gate revenue and the OAC receives 5%, so that would mean right there that the Toronto, Ontario area makes $600,000. 

Seeing these historic figures makes you wonder why the state of New York still doesn’t sanction mixed martial art events.  The economic impact is unquestionable.  New York is the biggest U.S. market not to sanction MMA and would instantly become one of the biggest markets to sanction MMA if/when they do.  It makes no sense for New York to continue denying the impact of holding a major UFC event.  In the meantime, cities like Toronto will continue to benefit greatly off of the ever increasing revenue of the UFC.

-Written by Kevin Rossi

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