Las Vegas – Despite a down economy, early numbers for UFC 94 show the event as having set the all-time attendance record for a UFC event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
According to a report by MMAjunkie.com, UFC President Dana White revealed during the show’s post fight press conference that a total of 14,855 fans were present at the MGM to witness UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre successfully defend his title against reigning lightweight champion B.J. Penn.
White also reportedly added that the total gate for the event was $4.3 million.
The attendance and gate figures for UFC 94 will not become official until early this week when officials from the Nevada State Athletic Commission release their totals to the public. However, if White’s attendance claim is accurate, UFC 94 will become the most-attended UFC event in the history of the MGM Grand.
If White’s numbers are confirmed this week by NSAC, MMAjunkie.com’s records indicate that UFC 94 will move into sixth place on the UFC’s all-time gate list behind UFC 66 (Liddell vs. Ortiz II), UFC 83 (St. Pierre vs. Serra II), UFC 79 St. Pierre vs. Hughes), UFC 91 (Couture vs, Lesnar), and UFC 71 (Liddell vs. Jackson).
While the gate is not expected to set a record, it’s still an impressive mark considering the state of the U.S. economy. The potential $4.3 million gate comes at a time where Americans have seen record losses in the stock market, experienced a record number of home foreclosures, and endured unemployment numbers that haven’t been this low in decades.
Las Vegas has been hit harder by the down economy more than most cities but an overwhelming number of fans from St. Pierre’s home country of Canada and Penn’s home state of Hawaii helped the event sell out in early January.