Why UFC is having trouble in the U.K.
Thursday, 05 September 2013 08:33
By Andrew Garvey
Just read in the latest Observer where you note the October 26th UFC Fight Night in Manchester has sold just 5,500 tickets. I'm not sure its as much Bisping losing steam as a ticket seller as it is a combination of that and 3 other, bigger factors.
1. UFC just isn't as hot as it was a few years ago. Partly I feel this is because the UK fanbase has been somewhat abandoned by the company as the number of shows has greatly decreased, as has the star power of the fighters on them.
2. The TV situation isn't great. Everything is on so late at night that its extremely difficult to make new fans to replace the ones who have moved on to something else. And BT Sport's scheduling may be even worse than ESPN's was. .
3. And I think this is a really big one - ticket prices. These have increased dramatically in the last few years, to the point they're now basically a rip-off. I had a lot of friends who went to see UFC 70, at the MEN Arena in 2007. They all bought the cheapest tickets and those were in the £30 range. I forget the exact price but that's roughly the cost. I just checked and, at the same arena in 2009, the cheapest tickets for UFC 105 were £40. For UFC 138 in Birmingham in 2011, in a smaller arena, the cheapest tickets were £50. For October, in Manchester for the third time, the cheapest tickets are £75 and with booking fees they go up into the £83 range. They're simply pricing themselves far too high.