UFC President Dana White is looking at options to get fans back to UFC events, but he’s not willing to compromise with socially-distanced crowds.
White has been able to promote multiple events since the coronavirus pandemic began. Several occurred in Jacksonville, Florida, and the most recent have occurred inside the UFC Apex facility. Several more will occur on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi in July. None have or will welcome fans.
The UFC, of course, generates massive revenue through ticket sales. Given that, White is understandably eager to welcome fans back to events.
Several states are beginning to explore options for bringing fans back to live sporting events. White says he’s already in communication with those states about hosting UFC events, but is taking things as they come.
“This whole thing is state-by-state, or country-by-country,” White said at the UFC on ESPN 10 post-fight press conference (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I know that there’s a couple of states right now looking to open up for the fans, and we’re talking to them.”
One option that has been suggested in terms of getting fans back to live sporting events is operating with reduced audiences and enforcing social distancing.
White is not interested in promoting fight cards with smaller crowds, insisting it’s easier to continue promoting events sans audience at the UFC Apex facility.
“Yeah, I won’t do that,” White said when a reporter asked about promoting shows with socially-distanced crowds. “I won’t do a 50-percent arena. I’ll just stay here. It makes more sense just to stay here.”
The next UFC event on the calendar goes down at the UFC Apex facility this Saturday. It will be headlined by a heavyweight battle between Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov.
When do you think Dana White will start welcoming fans back to UFC events? Should the UFC boss reconsider allowing socially-distanced crowds?