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WEC ticket sales for 6/1 surpassing expectations

wec-logo.jpg When Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting announced that it would be running the Arco Arena for its June 1 show in Sacramento, Calif., I cringed a little bit.

My initial feeling was that the promotion might be thinking a little too ambitious by running such a large arena so soon. However, my concerns were assuaged upon learning that the arena would be scaled for a smaller crowd.

Well, it looks like the home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings will have to be re-scaled because the WEC announced Wednesday afternoon that all 8,000 of Arco’s lower bowl seats have sold out and that additional tickets are being made available for the event, which will feature hometown hero and WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber taking on former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver.

There are two things that I’ve learned from today’s announcement. Which are:

1) All of the hard work being put in by the WEC’s P.R. staff to develop Faber as a major star is starting to gain traction. Faber was announced to a few Southern California crowds at UFC events and didn’t generate as much of a reaction as you’d expect. However, when Faber was shown on camera at UFC 82 in Columbus, it was a completely different story. Several months back Faber appeared on the covers of a bunch of magazines and I think that has gone a long way towards conditioning the UFC’s audience to react to him like a superstar.

But I have to admit, I am still surprised tickets are selling so well. Faber is still rather new to the mainstream MMA world and even though Sacramento is his hometown, 8,000 tickets and counting for a featherweight is still pretty impressive.

2) The price of MMA is somewhat stunting the growth of the sport. We can talk about all the reasons why boxing is no longer as popular in the U.S. as it once was, and the reasons are numerous. But one problem that gets left out a lot if the fact that boxing turned into a rich person’s sport. MMA is going down the same route. As much as I love the sport, I have to admit, it’s not a cheap sport to follow. The cost to participate in MMA or to watch live or on pay-per-view ain’t exactly cheap.

In regards to ticket prices, tickets for some events aren’t selling as fast as they once did as a result. I am seeing a trend in certain cities where the cheapest tickets for major events sell out quickly yet the medium and higher priced seats are available for a prolonged duration.

If the sport is happy with where it’s at right now, then keep the prices where they are, because people are obviously paying for MMA. However, if the sport wants to continue to grow, I think the powers that be in MMA need to be careful about the rising costs, especially with the current state of the economy. I strongly believe that there are a lot of people that would love to buy PPVs on a regular basis or attend live events that simply don’t have the money.

The strong sales for the June 1 WEC show is a perfect example of what happens when you make tickets more affordable to the public.

8 COMMENTS
  • Jeremy says:

    Excellent news on ticket sales for that event, the whole show is excellent and glad to see people out there want to see it. And amen Sam to ticket and ppv prices.

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  • Kelvin says:

    I’m happy for the WEC…they put on a great show.

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  • Bad Monkey says:

    Pulver/Faber is going to be a hell of a fight. Sprawl & Brawl, Jens!!!

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  • Reaser says:

    Boxing got “ruined” because of Don King, Bob Arum and GARY SHAW. Now Gary Shaw is coming after MMA and already selling out the sport and will end up setting it back to the days of no regulation if he keeps being supported by people, who obviously don’t know the history of him.

    and WEC is awesome, better “cage”, better announcers, and even for the most part better fights (obviously not fighters except the lower weights) than the UFC or EliteXC.

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  • Mark Aulet says:

    I am really impressed with the WEC and the production and Mir’s commentary. They really capture the hometown hero theme and run with it. Urijah is charismatic, intelligent and will appeal to a lot of women getting into watching mma. I couldn’t think of a better person/marketing strategy to go with personally.

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  • Jackyl says:

    I agree that the prices may seem a little high. They do need to understand that the average mma fan is not going to be able to pay $450 a pop to get down on the floor. There is a larger problem with the lower price seats, which is scalpers and brokers. The reason all of those seats sell out right away is because they have the highest profit margin. You can check various resale sites and the lowest price tickets are listed for 3 or 4 times face value. I have monitored the prices for some shows coming close to me and they seem to hover around triple, then go down to about double as the event approaches. Sometimes they misjudge the popularity of an event and they unload them cheaper. There’s not really much that can be done about it, they will charge what the market dictates, but it is clearly why the cheaper tickets sell out so quickly.

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  • slimm says:

    I paid something like $282 (ticketmaster) for two tickets to this show (again my first major event that i will see in person) i bought them a few days after they went on sale
    1) im suprised that they have already sold 8000 tickets with two weeks or so to go til the event
    2) is it exactly Urijah that is the draw for most or is it the entire card…. i quite simply thought hey theyre fighting in Sac i can afford it im down, luckily the card has grown in appeal (for me)
    3) i truly hope this isnt the same “type” of crowd that was @ the UFC “stacked” card the booing was disgusting to hear on the ppv

    hey cant wait to see the entire card im going to watch each and every fight and enjoy the hell out of this show, cheers……..

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  • slimm says:

    just re~watched the Jens v Cubb fight (fuck u Cubb ha) and out of all the fights ive seen of Jens ive never noticed dude has crazy eye
    never trust a guy with crazy eye
    also that was a great sub by Jens bottom line can wait for June 1 the entire card is going to be awesome, cheers……….

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