The UFC just announced that UFC 123, aka the event with the incredibly stupid Rampage Jackson vs Lyoto Machida headline fight, will be held in Detroit. Well, not technically Detroit … Detroit suburb Auburn Hills. But same difference … that’s just where The Palace of Auburn Hills is, the 24,000+ person sports mega-hive that houses the NBA’s Pistons.
Now I don’t know much about Detroit. Everything I know I gleaned from the headlines of articles that make it sound a few steps above a post-apocalyptic Terminator 3 warzone. That doesn’t sound like an ideal place to sell twenty four thousand tickets at the standard event average of $300 a ticket. Bloody Elbow writer and brave post-economy Michigan survivor Brent Brookhouse agrees:
Then there is the realist in me that is fairly certain the ticket sales for this event will be a disappointment. The Michigan economy is pretty awful and we’re sporting the second highest unemployment rate in the country (even with a recent boom of new jobs). Nevada is first and obviously the UFC is strong there, but it also has the benefit of Las Vegas being a destination and there being a lot of money in the pockets of a lot of people. Michigan is a state that I just can’t see a major UFC event selling well in.
Dana White complained about Boston ticket sales doing poorly (the event crawled sluggishly past 14,000 attendence) and blamed it on the economy being bad there. Even if Detroit does better, the Palace is a big freaking venue. Are we gonna be seeing cheaper tickets, or curtains covering the entire top bowl?