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UFC193 event delivers record $9.5 million ticket sales at Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium has reported a massive success from Sunday’s much discussed UFC193 event, reporting ticket sales in excess of $9.5 million which the venue says is a house record.
The relatively new phenomena that’s UFC was a dominant theme on Melbourne’s talk back radio and most sections of the media, ahead of Sunday’s record breaking event.
Fans voted with their feet - the crowd of 56,214 was the second highest for an Etihad Stadium sporting event, falling just short of the Australian Wallabies Test match against the British and Irish Lions in June, 2013, which attracted 56,771.
The name on the crowd’s lips was world bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey who ultimately lost her championship in what followers of UFC said amounts to the sport’s biggest ever upset. Rousey had no answers for the boxing prowess of fellow American Holly Holm and was knocked out in the second round of the world title bout.
Etihad Stadium Chief Executive Paul Sergeant says UFC193 was a massively successful occasion for Etihad Stadium on a number of fronts.
Sergeant stated “we successfully engaged and entered into a relationship with the highly professional senior team at UFC, headed by Executives Tom Wright and Dana White, and it ultimately led to the delivery of one of the most, if not the most successful event, hosted in the stadium’s 15 year history.
“We are at times are of the view that the preparation of any entertainment or sporting event can be underestimated but for the thousands of people who attended on Sunday, they will long remember the fantastic show."
Sergeant said the other factor which needed to be emphasised was the excellent crowd behaviour, adding “the fans were absolutely engrossed and engaged with the event. There were no issues and they were a credit to UFC’s legions of followers across Australia and around the world.
“There were doomsayers claiming the occasion would be accompanied by violence and unsociable behaviour, staining Melbourne’s reputation. Maybe next time they might listen before making judgemental, gratuitous, outrageous comments that could not have been further off the mark.
“Beamed to 100 million homes across the globe, it was a high tech, superbly professional show. We had just four ejections which is absolutely at the bottom end of the scale for any of our events, let alone something as massive as UFC.
“The event also has generated a huge economic benefit for Melbourne and the city’s tourism and hospitality sectors.
“43% of tickets sold were purchased from either interstate or overseas. Invariable that means they’ve stayed in the city’s hotels and apartments, generating millions of dollars into the local economy."
Sergeant said the Etihad Stadium’s management team will maintain its excellent relationship with the UFC team.
He concluded “saying that it’s unlikely that we will see the magnitude of such a UFC show in the foreseeable future in Melbourne.
“It was three years in the making. We are amazingly proud of the show we helped produce and we know the fans who came along were tremendously appreciative of all that went into building such a memorable event.”
Images: Rhonda Rousey (top) and the UFC 193 crowd (middle) at Etihad Stadium. UFC 193 winner Holly Holm (below).
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