An Andrea Bocelli concert at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Dec. 5 has led to the UFC’s decision to look at the Dallas Cowboys‘ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as the venue for the featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and interim champion Conor McGregor, sources have told Yahoo Sports.
MGM Resorts officials booked the Bocelli concert for Dec. 5 in its Grand Garden, the same night that UFC 194 will be held. Assuming his rib injury is sufficiently healed, the UFC plans to have the hotly anticipated Aldo-McGregor match headline that card. As a result, the MGM wanted to move the UFC card across Las Vegas Boulevard to Mandalay Bay.
But Mandalay Bay is a vastly smaller venue, with a seating capacity for a mixed martial arts card at less than 12,000. The UFC crammed a Nevada-record 16,019 fans into the MGM for UFC 189 on July 11, when McGregor stopped Chad Mendes to win the interim belt.
UFC president Dana White, who couldn’t be reached Thursday, said following the card that he believed Aldo-McGregor would be held in Las Vegas. He was asked specifically about AT&T Stadium and said the UFC would be open to going there if it had the right fight.
But when the Bocelli concert was booked, it made more sense to look outside of Las Vegas where the UFC could get a venue large enough to support a show of that magnitude. It’s unknown how AT&T Stadium would be configured, but it can hold over 100,000 fans.
In two boxing matches there in 2010, Manny Pacquiao attracted an average of roughly 45,000 fans a fight.
A source said no decision has been made on the undercard.
It’s not a done deal, but it is looking like the UFC has the major bout it needed to land in the Dallas Cowboys’ home.
(The UFC had initially hoped to hold UFC 194 at Madison Square Garden in New York, but that was based on the passage of a bill regulating professional mixed martial arts in the last American holdout state. Now, with Las Vegas seemingly out of the picture, do you think that Aldo vs. McGregor would be a significant enough draw for AT&T Stadium? Let us know in the comments below.)