If you didn’t notice already, UFC’s Toronto pre-sale figures are a really big deal

By Zach Arnold | February 11, 2011

You don’t think selling 40,000+ tickets, scalpers or not, for the April 30th show at the Sky Dome (Rogers Centre) is big? Of course it is. Not that this comes as any surprise to us given that I predicted 10 months ago that a show with GSP would easily outdraw the Blue Jays (and it has).

There was great consternation that the Sky Dome was too big of a facility for the UFC to run their debut in Ontario and that they should run the Air Canada Centre. I didn’t buy into that idea because Ontario, along with other major Canadian cities, have been huge PPV-buying markets for the UFC. Naturally, UFC was going to draw big for their first foray into Toronto. I will say that it is quite astonishing just how fast tickets are selling, which is a good thing.

UFC must be hoping and praying for Georges St. Pierre to beat Jake Shields. If the fight is ugly but GSP wins, that’s one thing. If Shields wins and it’s exciting, that’s a crapshoot. If Shields wins and it’s ugly, then I don’t know how hot Toronto would stay as a live-event market. Ultimately, the goal is for St. Pierre to win and look strong so that the ‘dream match-up’ between him and Anderson Silva happens in Toronto.


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UFC Announces Record First Day Sales For UFC 129 In Toronto!

By The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Toronto‘s appetite for the UFC is proving to be near insatiable. The mixed martial arts juggernaut enjoyed a record day at the box office Thursday, selling more than 42,000 tickets — its entire original ticket block — for UFC 129 on April 30 at the Rogers Centre. And they went in the first day of a pre-sale, with some paying a premium of almost $90 to join the fan club that had first crack at the tickets for the UFC’s first show in Ontario.

“I LOVE CANADA!” UFC president Dana White told The Canadian Press in a text message.

The previous UFC attendance record was UFC 124 in Montreal, which drew 23,152 to the Bell Centre in December. White often refers to Canada as the mecca of mixed martial arts.

“To say the response was overwhelming would be an understatement,” said Tom Wright, the UFC’s director of Canadian operations. “In less than an hour we were pretty well down to some singles (tickets).”

It took the UFC even less time — just seven or eight minutes after tickets went on sale to members of the UFC Fight Club at 10 a.m. ET — to decide it needed to make several thousand more tickets available so there would be some left when the general public gets a chance to buy them Saturday. On Friday, another pre-sale is set for those who subscribe to the UFC newsletter. Wright would not detail the possible total number of seats on sale but said 50,000 would be “pushing it.”

“I’d love to see a first digit (of) five but time will tell.”

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