by Ivan Trembow – MMAWeekly.com
Pride 33: The Second Coming was a moderate success from a live box office standpoint, with numbers that were almost identical to those of Pride: The Real Deal.
Pride 33: The Second Coming drew a paid attendance of 8,334, which was up slightly from The Real Deal’s mark of 8,079 in paid attendance. Both events took place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
However, with ticket prices down slightly, the live gate was down from $2,056,044 for The Real Deal to $2,033,098 for The Second Coming. As it currently stands, The Real Deal drew the eighth largest live gate of any MMA event in Nevada to date, and The Second Coming drew the ninth largest live gate of any MMA event in Nevada to date. The UFC holds the top seven spots in Nevada’s record books.
The number of people in attendance who had free “comp” tickets went up from 4,042 at The Real Deal to 4,577 at The Second Coming.
The total number of fans in attendance increased from 12,121 at The Real Deal to 12,911 for The Second Coming.
As is usually the case, there are the attendance numbers that the promotion claims publicly during or after the event, and then there are the actual, legitimate attendance numbers.
In the case of Pride 33: The Second Coming, Pride announced that the total attendance was 13,180, which is slightly higher than the legitimate total attendance figure of 12,911.
While The Second Coming performed slightly better at the live box office than The Real Deal, both events paled in comparison to the live event business that the UFC consistently generates in Las Vegas.
Just three weeks prior to Pride’s Second Coming, UFC 67 took place in Las Vegas. While the UFC lamented the fact that the event did not fill the 11,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center at the post-fight press conference, the event still handily out-drew Pride: The Second Coming.
While Pride: The Second Coming generated $2,033,098 in ticket sales, UFC 67 generated $2,767,130 in ticket sales.
The UFC’s higher live gate figure was caused not only by higher ticket prices, but also by the fact that UFC 67 had a slightly higher paid attendance figure, with 8,700 fans paying to attend UFC 67 (compared to 8,334 for The Second Coming).
UFC 67 also had 1,527 fans in attendance who had free “comp” tickets, making the total attendance 10,227, which is slightly lower than the UFC’s publicly announced figure of 10,787.
The UFC has held eleven live PPV events since the beginning of 2006, and eight of those events were able to exceed Pride: The Second Coming’s live gate of $2,033,098.
The only UFC PPV events from the past year that Pride: The Second Coming out-drew at the live box office were UFC 58 (which took place in Las Vegas and drew a live gate of $1,758,450); UFC 63 (which took place in Anaheim and drew a live gate of $1,582,370); and UFC 64 (which took place in Las Vegas and drew a live gate of $1,790,490).