UFC 129 has been breaking all sorts of records thanks to the staggering levels of demand for tickets to the UFC’s first ever stadium show. The event that is to be headlined by what could be Georges St. Pierre’s final defense of his World Welterweight Title is to be held at the world famous Rogers Center (SkyDome) on April 30th with Jake Shields challenging. Over 55,000 tickets have been sold for the event, smashing both the officially recognised record for MMA North American Attendance set by UFC 124 when 23,000 fans packed in the Bell Centre to see St. Pierre comprehensively defeat Josh Koscheck. It also beats the controversial figure of 42,000 claimed by FEG’s Dynamite!! USA 2007 card although its widely suspected that virtually all those in attendance had not actually paid for their tickets.
What makes this box office performance all the more impressive is the speed at which it happened. On Thursday 42,000 tickets were released to the UFC’s Fan Club and the entire allocation was sold out there and then. This forced to UFC to go back and reconfigure the stadium to allow for more fans to attend with an extra thirteen thousand tickets being made available on Friday (limited number to newsletter subscribers) and on Saturday through general sale. As of now all tickets have been sold although its likely that once the organization has a better handle on how the stadium layout will work in practice even more will be released.
The 55,000 tickets were sold for an overall gate that is believed to be just under $11million, a figure that would double the previous record for the gate at a MMA event. It is also a record figure for the Rogers Center. As speculated by Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer it may also break the record for the biggest combat sports gate secured through general ticket sales as all of boxing’s eight figure gates have been thanks to casinos buying the vast majority of the tickets. To put it in perspective neither Manny Pacquiao fight at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium last year did much more than 40,000 paid (if that) and its touch and go whether the combined gates of those two fights will match UFC 129’s box office revenue when all tickets are sold.
Tags: Georges St. Pierre, Jake Shields, Mixed Martial Arts, UFC 129