UFC president Dana White on Wednesday night following the event revealed the preliminary head count and gate receipts for UFC Fight Night 27, which took place at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Indiana Gaming Commission on Thursday released the official totals to MMAWeekly.com.
The gate receipt total of $355,290 was spot-on, but the total attendance increased from the initial estimate of 5,950 to the IGC’s official total of 6,417.
That still doesn’t put a dent in the difference between Wednesday night’s event totals and the promotion’s previous trip to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop was attended by 15,811 fans, which accounted for gate receipts totaling $1.6 million.
The big difference is moving from a Saturday night event – when people are more willing to travel to the event and stay out late – to a Wednesday night, a more television friendly timeslot.
The move is due to Fox wanting the UFC to spearhead its Wednesday night programming on the newly launched Fox Sports 1 network. It’s a challenge to balance TV ratings with ticket sales, but something that White is more than willing to take on.
“(Fox) put us on Wednesday nights because they were looking for something strong that they thought could deliver on a Wednesday night,” he commented. “It’s a challenge selling tickets. It’s the live gate is the one thing that’s gonna be the challenge.”
Despite the hurdle in front of him to find that perfect mix, don’t think it has discouraged White at all. He’s happy to find his company in the position it’s in.
“I love Fox. I hope we’re here for a hundred years,” he declared, dismissing the challenge of moving most of its Fight Night events to the new timeslot.
“They’re committed to building this sport. You see it in what they do. They throw us in the NFL, they put us in Major League Baseball, they spend money, and they launch the network with us. I’ve been in the TV business for a long time; these are the guys.”