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ROCKET FISTS
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Sluggish Ticket Sales Show Rapid Growth of UFC Is Waning


6/14/2010 6:55 PM ET By Michael David Smith

As the UFC exploded in popularity over the last few years, the promotion always prided itself on moving into new markets and breaking arena records by selling 10,000 or 15,000 tickets in a matter of minutes. But the UFC's rapid growth may be slowing down.

The UFC announced Monday that it has moved its August 1 show out of Salt Lake City because it was struggling to sell tickets. The event, headlined by Jon Jones vs. Vladimir Matyushenko, will now take place in San Diego. It's the second time in less than a week that we've had news of a weak market for UFC tickets; in the days before Saturday night's UFC 115 show in Vancouver, scalpers began to sell tickets for less than face value as supply outstripped demand.

Give UFC President Dana White credit: He didn't try to sugar coat the change of venue. In the official statement released by the UFC, White acknowledged that ticket sales were weak.

"Our television ratings in Salt Lake City have always been strong, and when we finally found the opportunity to bring a UFC event there with a great card, I was very surprised and disappointed in ticket sales," White said. "As a result, for the first time in UFC history, I decided to pull the plug and move this August 1st event to the San Diego Sports Arena."

The problems selling tickets don't indicate that the UFC is on the decline, but they do indicate that the UFC simply can't sustain the incredible growth rate that it went through from the time that White and the Fertitta brothers took over through the summer of 2009, culminating in UFC 100. It wouldn't be realistic for any business to expect a continued expansion like the UFC has had.

In a sense, the UFC may be a victim of its own success. There was a time when getting to see a live MMA show felt like a very, very big deal. Now the UFC has been to most of the major markets in America, regional MMA shows are all over the place, and televised MMA feels like the norm, not the exception. In the next week MMA fans can watch four live fight cards from the comfort of their own homes: Strikeforce on Showtime Wednesday, Bellator on Fox Sports Net Thursday, the UFC on Spike Saturday and the WEC on Versus Sunday. MMA is everywhere, and when it comes to your town it doesn't seem like so much of a novelty anymore -- even if the UFC has never come to town before.

None of this is reason for MMA fans to worry about the future of the sport: There are still a lot of reasons to believe that MMA has room to grow, especially if it gets legalized in two of North America's three biggest markets, New York City and Toronto. MMA is here, it's here to stay and it's only going to get bigger. But it's not going to keep getting bigger at the pace of growth it has recently achieved. The inability to sell tickets in Salt Lake City showed that.
http://www.mmafighting.com/2010/06/14/sluggish-ticket-sales-show-rapid-growth-of-ufc-is-waning/



And I just saw a commercial yesterday that tickets are still available for the July 3rd Carwin vs Lesnar event. How could that be? Lesnar is arguable the biggest draw in MMA, it's a saturday card, during summer, with a heavyweight title on the line. AND the card has been announced for a long, long time.

Thoughts?
 

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http://www.mmafighting.com/2010/06/14/sluggish-ticket-sales-show-rapid-growth-of-ufc-is-waning/



And I just saw a commercial yesterday that tickets are still available for the July 3rd Carwin vs Lesnar event. How could that be? Lesnar is arguable the biggest draw in MMA, it's a saturday card, during summer, with a heavyweight title on the line. AND the card has been announced for a long, long time.

Thoughts?
Vegas ticket prices?

The PPV numbers will be there.


You move make fights in Australia, Japan or where i'm at - Philippines- they'll sell out damn quick.
 

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"I
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The market is almost tapped as far as seating and whatnot because they put on so many damn events now. I mean the TUF finale was LAST WEEK. 115 was the week before that. Evans/Jackson was two weeks before THAT. 4 events in 6 weeks is going to strap people for cash. I don't think it's that popularity is waning at all, like MrObjective said the PPV numbers will still be there for sure, they're just heavily saturating the market.
 

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Lot of factors with that one. Main one is that Salt Lake City is a conservative town. For every city like that there's a dozen who go gung ho over MMA shows in general.

UFC isn't slowing down anytime soon until they've reached a saturation point, probably in another five years or so.
 

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Takedown, Dominate & Destroy
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Theres just alot events bunched in together and two of them a major draws (Being Lesnar vs Carwin aswell as Fedor vs Werdum)

Im sure this more to do with timing than anything and yeah the PPV's should back that up.
 

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I think that the UFC overestimated how many people would travel from Alberta to Vancouver for UFC 115. Alberta has money and the UFC is quite popular but most of that money comes form the oilfield were scheduled days off are few and far between and people aren't making plans they are just watching the fight where ever they happen to be at for work.
 

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And I just saw a commercial yesterday that tickets are still available for the July 3rd Carwin vs Lesnar event. How could that be? Lesnar is arguable the biggest draw in MMA, it's a saturday card, during summer, with a heavyweight title on the line. AND the card has been announced for a long, long time.

Thoughts?
July 3rd is a holiday weekend...
 

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I think the UFC 114 PPV buys suggest that the UFC's popularity isn't waning TBH, and I imagine the UFC 116 sales will be better than that. I'm sure Zuffa aren't too worried.
 

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PPV sales income > Ticket sales income and PPV numbers have been up.

All the UFC has to do is lower their ticket prices to a reasonable value and they would be packed. An average price of around $250 a seat is ridiculous. I am a huge UFC fan but would honestly never pay to go to an event even if they came to my city, it just isn't worth it.

Edit: $250 came from gate/audience of past couple events

Here are ticket prices for 116

1000
750
500
300
200
100

That is insane, having to pay $1000 to get a good seat. I bet you can't even see the fighters from the $100 seats... It truly amazes me that they are actually able to sell some events out.

It is also the reason that so many people boo at events. Overpriced tickets lead to very high expectations that aren't met unless fighters are fighting with reckless abandon.
 

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Lets not forget we still have a economic nightmare they keep telling us is over then coming back and saying its over again and again, heh. Even the price of food is going up, just about anything you buy now you pay more for than a few years ago that is unless you need a house haha.

Add in the oil spill and I think more people are holding onto what they can. I just dont think its one thing its a mix of issues and most of them effect us all even the UFC.

PPV sales income > Ticket sales income and PPV numbers have been up.

All the UFC has to do is lower their ticket prices to a reasonable value and they would be packed. An average price of around $250 a seat is ridiculous. I am a huge UFC fan but would honestly never pay to go to an event even if they came to my city, it just isn't worth it.

Edit: $250 came from gate/audience of past couple events

Here are ticket prices for 116

1000
750
500
300
200
100

That is insane, having to pay $1000 to get a good seat. I bet you can't even see the fighters from the $100 seats... It truly amazes me that they are actually able to sell some events out.

It is also the reason that so many people boo at events. Overpriced tickets lead to very high expectations that aren't met unless fighters are fighting with reckless abandon.
So might be my math but your average looks low. But put that aside a sec and whats the average cost for a seat WORTH having? Now add in the travel expenses and everything that goes with it and its just a crazy amount of cash even for nose bleed seats.

Real people dont have that kind of cash right now. So yeah I agree with you 100%
 

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Call Me King
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PPV sales income > Ticket sales income and PPV numbers have been up.

All the UFC has to do is lower their ticket prices to a reasonable value and they would be packed. An average price of around $250 a seat is ridiculous. I am a huge UFC fan but would honestly never pay to go to an event even if they came to my city, it just isn't worth it.

Edit: $250 came from gate/audience of past couple events

Here are ticket prices for 116

1000
750
500
300
200
100

That is insane, having to pay $1000 to get a good seat. I bet you can't even see the fighters from the $100 seats... It truly amazes me that they are actually able to sell some events out.

It is also the reason that so many people boo at events. Overpriced tickets lead to very high expectations that aren't met unless fighters are fighting with reckless abandon.
I agree, and that is ridiculous, the face that they have enough people willing to pay that much shows that the sport is still growing tremendously.
 

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On Salt Lake City..... selling tickets to any event held on Sunday is going to be a tough sell there.

As for the fans booing.... Fighting attracts drunk Lunk Heads who want to see knock-outs. I am always stunned when a great ground battle is taking place and the booing starts, but a lot of people think that buying a ticket is a right to ruin the event for the person next to them.
 

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Call Me King
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That might be a huge problem is how entertaining UFC fights are becoming wrestling matches. That's why I love the WEC!
 

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I think that the UFC overestimated how many people would travel from Alberta to Vancouver for UFC 115. Alberta has money and the UFC is quite popular but most of that money comes form the oilfield were scheduled days off are few and far between and people aren't making plans they are just watching the fight where ever they happen to be at for work.
I don't think Alberta money was a factor the UFC considered. Vancouver's a town with a lot of money floating around, and MMA and UFC are huge here + the suburbs + small towns. The Canucks sell out every game and I only see Albertans flying in for Calgary/Edmonton games.

The event was a big success from the UFC's point of view. Wasn't it the fastest sellout ever? What happened here was the scalpers got hubris and bet big on tickets, demanded unreasonable markups on already-expensive tix and some of them got burned. My heart does not bleed for asshole profiteer scalpers who drive up prices on concerts and sporting events. **** 'em. The live event was a financial success for the UFC.

But I couldn't afford a ticket. I'm not one of the ones with money to burn. I watched in a bar three or four blocks from GM Place.

http://www.ufc.com/index.cfm?fa=news.detail&gid=80481
 

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Super Ultra Great Delicious Wonderful
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Didn't that shows ticket sales tank because they tried running it on the mormon holy day.
 

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First event in SLC, on a Sunday? That was just poor planning. Double digit growth won't last forever in a single market, which is why the UFC's greatest focus now is on international markets.
 

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This article is using selective fact to start fear mongering just to get hits.

The reality is the last 5 UFC events have done on 500k ppv sales and Rampage/Rashad did over a million. As will Brock and Carwin.

The UFC is bigger than ever.
 

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The Mad Titan
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i think it's because the bones fight was to be held on a sunday in salt lake city.

mormans aren't going to sporting event on a sunday
 
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