The official attendance for UFC 73, as recorded by the CSAC, was 13,183. That total includes a paid attendance of 8,622, or 65.4% of the total attendance. There were 4,561 exempt or complimentary tickets that the promotion gave away, or 34.6% of the total attendance. The total capacity of the Arco Arena for UFC 73 was 16,811. That leaves 3,628 tickets that were neither sold nor given away.
These are some pretty tame numbers for the UFC considering the card and the location. California is a hotbed of MMA activity so you would imagine they’d do better there. Or perhaps the opposite is true: since there’s been so much MMA in Cali lately, it hurt the UFC’s ability to really get people out. I assume most UFC shows draw from across the state and beyond, and I wonder if recent less expensive shows K1 and Strikeforce might have hurt the draw. And lets face it: while the card had some serious matches for hardcore fans, the only real name draw for the average consumer was Tito Ortiz.
Another thing: giving 1/3 of the arena free tickets seems really high … like IFL style high. And I bet you anything it was these fuckers who didn’t have to pay who were booing their heads off all night. And this guy was probably another comp ticket recipient. Long story short … I think the UFC might want to consider running more shows in areas that aren’t saturated with MMA events every other weekend. When you come to California it should be with a real marquee headlining fight. Or as you can see above, you aren’t going to do so hot.