Dave Meltzer – the harbringer of all things related to ratings, ticket sales, and pay per view numbers – casts an ominous glance at the portents of Ronda Rousey ticket sales thus far:
The location, the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., was also a risk. While Rousey is from Southern California, the Los Angeles/Anaheim market has never been an easy one after the immediate sellout of the company’s debut show there in 2006. Generally speaking, the more a city is run, outside of Las Vegas which is a strong casino market, the harder it is to sell tickets.
While the 2010 Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez heavyweight title fight at the Honda Center got off to a strong start even that wasn’t an instant sellout. But most shows at the Honda Center or Staples Center in Los Angeles have in recent years done more in the range of 6,000 to 7,000 tickets over he first week of sales.
With tickets having gone on sale the week before Christmas, less than 5,000 tickets have been sold for the Feb. 23 date and the ticket gross is in the $600,000 range. That’s slightly less tickets, and slightly more dollars, than the company’s previous major event in the market, the Aug. 4 FOX show, headlined by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon Vera, at the same point in time.
It’s slower early sales than most major UFC pay-per-view shows.
Who knows if or how things will turn around for this event – the UFC is obviously banking on mainstream media picking up on the Rousey fight and propelling interest amongst non-typical fans. But will these people be interested enough to drop the hundreds of dollars it takes for a night out at a UFC event? California is a tough market because there’s always 30 other things to do on any given night. 30 things that probably cost a fraction of what this UFC event costs.