UFC president Dana White doesn’t anticipate have crowds at a UFC event anytime soon, saying he doesn’t expect a live gate “for a very long time.”
White has been adamant all along that the UFC’s show would not be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But that didn’t stop several fight cards in March and April from being canceled. White did everything he could to hold the original UFC 249 card on April 18 at Tachi Palace in Leemore, California, but ultimately the UFC was forced to stand pat and not hold the event. The promotion is now looking to make a return to ESPN+ at the new UFC 249 card on May 9 in Jacksonville, Florida, though without a crowd present.
Speaking to Yahoo! Sports, White admitted he doesn’t expect his company to earn any money from a live gate for the foreseeable future.
“Obviously, the world is going to be different and I’ve been thinking far ahead into the future. I don’t expect to have a gate for a very long time. I’ve already thrown that out the window. You have to look at all the different things. People think that I don’t take this seriously because I want to come back so fast and all this other stuff,” Dana White said.
“It’s not that I don’t take it seriously. I take it very seriously. I don’t plan on having a gate for a very long time. I’m already thinking way ahead of these types of things. All I need to worry about is making sure everybody is safe and I can put on these events. I don’t need a crowd.”
While the UFC may not have a live gate anytime soon, it will continue to hold events in Jacksonville, Florida as long as it can in order to satisfy its television deal with ESPN.
When do you think the UFC will have crowds again?