If you’re a Melbourne UFC fan, you’re going to find this piece of news very encouraging.
At the UFC 127 post-event press conference, UFC head of international development Marshall Zelaznik said the event drew 18,186 attendees to Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia, for a reported $3.5 million gate. This outstrips the $2.5 million gate at UFC 110 and with Toronto’s UFC 129 expected to sell 55,000 stadium seats, Zelaznik believes Melbourne is right up there as another possible international market for a stadium-based UFC event.
“The ticket sales in Toronto were obviously massive,” Zelaznik said. “We’re putting a lot of energy into ensuring the production delivers for the fans. It will be interesting to see the fan experience there, but we’re very optimistic.”
“There’s an Arena here in Australia in Melbourne, the Etihad, which has a roof. It’s about 55,000 (seats). I have no doubt that if we can figure out the issue with Victoria that that would be a place for an event that I think would sell-out just as quickly as Toronto.”
While Victoria currently allows MMA fighting, it does not allow it to occur in a cage. However, Zelaznik strongly believes the UFC will see a policy change in this regard in the coming months.
Reading between the lines, it seems that the UFC is pushing the Victorian government to get the UFC into Melbourne and that Etihad Stadium is currently their prime location choice.