The UFC returned to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Wednesday night to a turnout that paled in comparison to the promotion’s first foray there.
UFC Fight Night 27: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 drew an audience of 5,950, producing a live gate of $355,290. Those are not typical UFC numbers.
By comparison, UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop was attended by 15,811 fans, which accounted for gate receipts totaling $1.6 million.
So why go on a Wednesday night if there’s such a disparity in both butts in the seats and dollars in the coffers?
The UFC is in a television partnership with Fox; that’s why. With the launch of Fox Sports 1, Fox wanted the UFC to be the cornerstone of its Wednesday night programming, including several live events.
“We face this, I guess I’ll call it a challenge now, going out on Wednesday nights as opposed to Saturday nights, but this is what our partner wants and we’ll make it work,” said UFC president Dana White on Wednesday night following the fights.
“If we were (in Indianapolis) on a Saturday night, this is one of those markets where people would drive in from all different places and they make a whole weekend of it,” he continued. “On a Wednesday night, nobody is driving anywhere on a Wednesday night. They gotta go to work in the morning, so we’ll figure this thing out.”