UFC Hopes New Apex Facility Will Expand Production Capabilities
The UFC Apex opens its doors tonight when the third season of "Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series" airs on ESPN+, and the promotion hopes the new facility "revolutionizes its smaller live-show presentation and production in the same way that the performance institute has done for athlete preparation and training assistance," according to Case Keefer of the LAS VEGAS SUN. UFC Exec VP/Operations & Productions Craig Borsari said, "It’s a custom mini-arena for us. From the inception, it’s been, ‘How do we make the perfect venue for fights?’ And we feel like we’ve achieved it." The facility is "modeled as an extension of the performance institute and an upgraded version of the old 'The Ultimate Fighter' space." The control center "will allow the UFC to produce live events remotely." Apex will be the "unofficial home of UFC Fight Pass." UFC President Dana White stressed that Apex was "conceived with the intention of creating new content for all subscribers." He said, "It’s all about having your own network, and if you’re going to have your own network, you start to think about what you want and what the fans are into." White believes the answer "lies in branching into other combat sports -- namely boxing -- as well as regular events like comedy shows and concerts." Enacting those ideas down the line will mean "opening Apex to the public, but during the first phase, attendance will be restricted" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 6/18).
IF YOU BUILD IT: In Las Vegas, Alan Snel noted Apex' construction, which includes a 130,000-square-foot production studio, comes as UFC is "building out its headquarters into a mini-district under a 66-acre master plan during the next two to three years." UFC said that it has poured at least $20M into "re-making the facility into a state-of-the-art production studio and mini-arena that will hold at least 1,500." UFC bought the building in '18 and "began renovations Oct. 22, 2018" (LVSPORTSBIZ.com, 6/17).