I wrote a while back on why I thought Zuffa should come back to North Carolina after how successful the UFC: Fight For The Troops event was. I spoke on the huge military presence we have in the state, not only that, but it's a great central location for east coast fans. The east coast fans seem to get forgotten about at times, but when the UFC does come, we come out in droves. Often to somewhat less stacked events than our western counterparts get to witness. However, we were treated to UFC 88 last year in Atlanta, GA, which I had the honor of attending and it was a great card. That event(with no title fight) had almost 15,000 fans in attendance with a gate of over 2.5 million dollars. UFC 78 also sported similar numbers emanating from New Jersey, in what most people thought to be a lackluster card. Ultimate Fight Night 17 was held in Florida, and had close to 8,000 fans in attendance with a gate of close to $450,000.
Now MMAJunkie is reporting the following in regards to UFC 101 which will take place in Pennsylvania. According to UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner:
"We put tickets on sale, I believe sometime at the end of April or early May, and we've sold almost 14,000 tickets," Ratner said. "It's the biggest event in Pennsylvania history, as far as a live gate, already." "We've sold over $3 million worth of tickets," Ratner said of UFC 101.
So that event is already over $3 million dollars at the gate, and it's still over a month away? On paper, this event is looking really solid with the UFC lightweight title on the line between Kenny Florian and BJ Penn. Also, Anderson Silva will take on former UFC LHW champion Forrest Griffin. The rest of the card will feature what should be really solid fights. So the proof is in the pudding, if east coast fans are given the same quality as the west coast fans, there's no reason why Zuffa shouldn't be coming to the east coast more often...coughs...North Carolina :)