by Ivan Trembow – MMAWeekly.com
The UFC held three events in the month of April and two of those events were very successful at the live box office. The UFC had strong debuts in two new markets as UFC 69 took place in Houston, Texas and UFC 70 took place in Manchester, England. The UFC Fight Night event that took place in Las Vegas on April 5th was less successful, but the stakes were much smaller for an event at a smaller venue.
Most recently, UFC 70 took place at the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England on April 21st. The event drew $2,628,472 in gross ticket receipts, making it the ninth-highest-grossing event in UFC history.
The venue’s capacity with the UFC’s set-up was 15,983 and the paid attendance for the event was 12,708. There were also 2,406 people in attendance that had free tickets. The total number of people in the building was 15,114, which was about 900 short of capacity. The claims made before and after the event that it was a sell-out were not accurate. The average price per ticket sold was $207 when converted to American dollars.
Two weeks earlier, the UFC debuted in Texas with UFC 69 taking place at Houston’s Toyota Center on April 7th. The event drew $2,817,200 in gross ticket receipts, making it was the sixth-highest-grossing event in UFC history. The event narrowly missed out on joining UFC 57, UFC 61, UFC 62, and UFC 66 on the list of UFC events that have drawn $3 million or more at the live box office.
The paid attendance for UFC 69 was 12,516. With the addition of 2,753 people who were in attendance with free tickets, the total number of people in attendance at the event was 15,269.
The capacity of the venue with the UFC’s set-up was approximately 16,800, so the event was slightly more than 1,500 short of capacity. The average price per ticket sold was $225, which was slightly higher than the average for the U.K. event two weeks later, but still short of the usual prices for the UFC’s Las Vegas events.
UFC Fight Night 9
Just two days prior to UFC 69 in Houston, UFC Fight Night 9 took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 5th and it was the only UFC event of the month that was not particularly successful at the live gate.
UFC Fight Night 9 was the UFC’s debut in the new “Pearl at the Palms” venue in Las Vegas. The venue was structured to hold 2,500 fans with the UFC’s set-up. The total number of fans in the building was 1,734, and over one-third of that total was comprised of fans that had free tickets (593 of them, to be exact).
The paid attendance for the event was 1,141, and the live gate was $282,750. The average price per ticket sold was $248, which was higher than the average price for UFC 69 and UFC 70, but still lower than the average price for most of the events that the UFC held in the much smaller Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.