SBD/Issue 176/Leagues & Governing Bodies

UFC Holding First Utah Event At EnergySolutions Arena In August

UFC Event In Utah Is A Nod To The
Sport's Growth, Popularity In State

The UFC on Aug. 1 "will hold a multifight event" at EnergySolutions Arena that will air on Versus, according to Bill Oram of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Utah Athletic Commission Dir Bill Colbert said that the first UFC event in Utah is a "nod to both the growth of the sport and its popularity in the state." Colbert: "They know that per capita we're one of the highest mixed martial arts audiences that they have. For the size of our state, mixed martial arts are very popular." Utah Sports Commission President Jeff Robbins said, "I think what it does is it continues to paint Salt Lake City and the state as progressive." EnergySolutions Arena VP/Events Mark Powell said that the "only potential drawback" to the event is that it is "scheduled for Sunday." State planners "typically avoid scheduling events for Sundays." But Powell said that the "popularity of MMA should overcome the power of Sunday." He said, "If it was a Miley Cyrus concert I'd be much more concerned that I am with a UFC event" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 5/25).

FAN FRIENDLY: In Las Vegas, Adam Hill writes the success of last year's UFC Fan Expo, attended by between 30,000-50,000 fans, "has set the stage for what is billed as an even bigger expo at Mandalay Bay on Friday and Saturday." In addition to "hundreds of exhibitors, many using appearances from UFC stars to attract patrons, the expo will feature a grappling tournament, speeches, autograph sessions and the largest showcase of mixed martial arts-related items anywhere." UFC President Dana White said, "We've added even more cool stuff to this year's UFC Fan Expo. Our goal was to give our fans an experience that is second-to-none in the sports world" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 5/25).

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