The UFC are finally set to make their long-awaited arrival in New York City tonight at UFC 205, and the company are already making their impression felt by smashing the gate record for a sporting event at the historic Madison Square Garden arena.
UFC 205 has reportedly raked in over $17 million at the gate, making it not only, “the hottest tickets in New York City this year,” according to TicketIQ’s Tim Dolan, but also over $6 million more than MSG’s previous high water mark of $11 million for Lennox Lewis Vs Evander Hollyfield back in 1999.
It similarly crushes the UFC’s own record gate of just over $12 million for UFC 128: GSP Vs Shields in Toronto, Canada in 2011.
On that occasion over 55,000 fans packed into the Rogers Center, but UFC 205 will have less than half that number due to the size of the arena, yet more than make up for it due to the price per ticket, with the average cost on the secondary market rising to over $2,000.
Meanwhile, all signs point to UFC 205 being another blockbuster night for the company on the pay-per-view front.
Conor McGregor has already broke the PPV record twice this year, with his first fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in March delivering 1.6 million buys, while their rematch at UFC 202 in August edged it out with 1.7 million.
“The countdown show we did on FOX did 2.4 million viewers for a countdown show,” Dana White noted earlier this week when asked how things are trending for tonight’s event. “Embedded, the first episode did 1.3 million views. The numbers are huge, so, looking good.”
The numbers have only gone up since then, with Thursday’s pre-fight press conference having been viwed 1.75 million times at the time of writing, while last night’s weigh-ins already has over 1 million views.
Even late call-offs for two notable fights, Rashad Evans Vs Tim Kennedy and Donald Cerrone Vs Kelvin Gastelum hasn’t dampened people’s enthusiasm for the must-see event, and though it remains to be seen whether it can top McGregor’s double-header with Diaz, there’s no doubt that UFC 205 is going to be another enormous money-spinner for the UFC and it’s biggest stars.