With UFC 100 less than a week away the last minute demand is proving that mixed martial arts, namely the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is recession-proof. A ringside seat for this weekend’s centennial attraction at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada is going for a cool $45,000.00. While tickets can still be found between $250-$1,000, the asking price is seemingly going up by the minute. Meanwhile the pay-per-view orders are already far ahead of normal events, and if the typical last minute orders go as normal, the UFC could be looking at a possible 2-3 million in pay-per-view buys. At $44.95+ per order, the windfall from UFC 100 could produce twice the normal revenue from a single UFC event.
The organization has recently taken over professional wrestling as the top pay-per-view ticket, and is now taking aim at some major sports with their attendance and ticket sales figures. The economic impact of these events is also growing, proven by the fact that several hotels in Las Vegas are near full occupancy for this weekend, and rates for just that Saturday are nearly triple the normal prices. Because of the popularity of the sport many people are willing to travel wherever the UFC is to watch an event, dispelling the notion that the sport is riding its internet and television driven popularity.
Not only is UFC expected to draw huge ticket sales and generate huge numbers in tourism dollars for Las Vegas, but the pay-per-view numbers are expected to shatter UFC’s previous highs. The broadcast of the event has compelling interests to a number of fans and countries. Former professional wrestling star Brock Lesnar will be in the main event against Frank Mir. The title bout should draw lots of interest from professional wrestling fans, adding them to the pool of people possibly purchasing the event. Canadian superstar Georges St. Pierre will defend his welterweight title in the co-main event of the evening. His appearance is expected to see thousands of Canadians viewing the event that may not have otherwise. Brittain’s Michael Bisping will also be in action, fueling a spike in ratings from European fans. And finally, the debut of Korean native and Japanese superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama is expected to drive solid ratings in eastern Asia.