Since the cancellation of UFC 151, blame has been tossed around to everyone from our light-heavyweight champ, to his original opponent and even to Dana White and the rest of the UFC brass. Now, though, with the event date behind us the UFC must rebuild revenue in a year that could easily see some of its lowest numbers for the company.
Aside from the company, the town of Las Vegas also loses tremendous amounts of money for its economy and before you harangue me on the comment section for shedding a tear for a loss of revenue in Vegas, consider that not everyone in Vegas is making the same amounts of money as the town economy as a whole.
Their are individuals who help set up the arena, sell merchandise, taxi fans to and from the arena, and house fans in any one of several local hotels that need that revenue to ensure a solid earning year, thus the trickle effect takes care of the employees. Also, the small restaurants and businesses who enjoy a huge boost in revenue with the influx of tourists can know expect smaller totals at the end of the month as that potential revenue is gone. In all estimations for the total loss between local businesses and PPV buys climbs to a staggering total of $40 million.
This is a huge blow to the economy and one that won’t soon be forgotten. Especially because up until just two weeks before the event, this was still a go as fans and city officials planned in patient anticipation for a large chunk of extra revenue to be funneled into their economy.
In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, Dana White stated that the UFC spent $2 million on marketing costs alone for the UFC, save fighter payrolls, bonuses, etc. While this may seem like pocket change, this is just a portion of the losses that the UFC has suffered. One source close to the UFC has stated that they lost nearly $20 million in revenue.
Now this is just the UFC as a company. While the total fighter payrolls are much less than this, they mean so much more to the fighters that have to avoid injury in training to rack up a few fights a year to make a living. Now, their fights have either been moved or cancelled, negating the chance of a fight paycheck or sponsor money for the fighters.
UFC 152 will take place not in a different state but instead in a different country—Canada. Jon Jones will take on Vitor Belfort and the city of Toronto will take in an even greater revenue with the addition of another title fight to the card, pushing fans who were on the fence about buying the tickets and the PPV, over the edge.
Although this is great for Toronto and for all the fighters of that card, Las Vegas and the UFC, along with the UFC 151 fighters who were transferred to smaller shows, will suffer.
People can throw blame on the weak card, a hesitant champ, or an old man with a bad knee but the truth is, a situation of this magnitude can not be caused by one person, one incident or even one accident. This is a collective disaster that was unforeseen and heartbreaking for the fighters who now suffer the consequences based on the actions of others.
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