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SBJ/20090316/This Week's News
UFC plans fan festival tied to event No. 100
Published March 16, 2009
The UFC will host the first fan expo in its 15-year history this summer in Las Vegas. The two-day event starts July 10 and will lead into UFC’s 100th fight card, scheduled for the night of July 11 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
The UFC and Reed Exhibitions, which is organizing the event, expect more than 100 companies to display on the floor of Mandalay Bay’s 200,000-square-foot convention center. The exhibitors will primarily represent MMA endemics such as fight gear and apparel, fitness equipment, health supplements and other lifestyle products.
Admission costs $50 for a two-day pass, or $30 for Friday and $35 for Saturday.
Bud Light and Harley-Davidson, two UFC sponsors, are expected to be involved, but their plans are not complete. THQ, maker of the new UFC video game, will likely have an interactive gaming area.
Organizers also plan to put the UFC’s octagon-shaped ring in the center of the convention floor to hold demonstrations, and to build a stage to conduct interviews with fighters and UFC executives such as President Dana White.
Because of the UFC’s pop culture cachet, Greg Topalian, senior vice president for Reed Exhibitions, expects the atmosphere to be more like a comics convention than a traditional sports fan fest. Depending upon the results, he said, the UFC festival could become an annual event.
The fight card for UFC 100 has not been announced but is expected to feature the anticipated rematch of heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir. Plans are being finalized on other ancillary events, such as concerts with big-name musicians.