UFC stadium event in Vancouver possible

Matt Kieltyka

An Ultimate Fighting Championship event at B.C. Place Stadium could one day be reality.

UFC Canada president Tom Wright admits the organization sees big stadium shows as a viable option after the mixed martial arts organization managed to sell out 55,000 seats in Toronto’s Rogers Centre for UFC 129 last week.

“Toronto has demonstrated that there are places in the world where we can put on a show in a stadium,” said Wright, in Vancouver yesterday to negotiate the UFC’s return to Vancouver in June. “[B.C. Place] is quite possible. We only ever started discussing it after the success in Toronto.”

But first, Wright is focused on bringing the UFC back to Rogers Arena.

The home of the Canucks hosted the sold-out UFC 115 last June, and it’s been reported that a return visit could take place June 11 and feature heavyweight Shane Carwin.

“It’s not signed, sealed and delivered yet,” said Wright. “We’re still working through the necessary issues so we’re not in a positive we can announce anything yet. But we’re confident we’ll be back.”

UFC 131 would likely be the last event held under the city’s two-year pilot of professional mixed martial arts, which was put in place December 2009.

Wright plans to lobby the provincial government to regulate the sport after the test period ends.

“We will have a deep conversation with the province,” he said. “The province doesn’t have an athletic commission when most across the country do. You want to be regulated and grow the sport, and that requires oversight.”

 

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