Strikeforce officials contemplate event at Cowboys Stadium

Could an MMA promotion in the U.S. ever fill an arena like Cowboys Stadium?

Since acquiring EliteXC‘s assets, including a CBS television deal, and signing heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko, Strikeforce has certainly tried to up the promotional ante.

Now MMAFighting.com reports that officials for the MMA organization considered holding an event at the mammoth Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, which has a seating  capacity of around 80,000.

When contacted by MMA Fighting, Strikeforce representatives downplayed the possibility of such an event.

“There’s no discussion and no event happening in Dallas,” Strikeforce director of communications Mike Afromowitz said.

But according to both sources, the San Jose, California-based promotion did previously discuss the possibility of staging an event at the showcase facility. One of the sources said that at one time, Strikeforce specifically discussed the possibility of an Oct. 16 show, which might have aired on CBS and featured many of the company’s biggest names.

The event, which likely would have included former Dallas Cowboys’ star running back Herschel Walker as a local drawing card, would also have served to help launch the upcoming EA Sports MMA video game, which will be released on Oct. 19 and has a heavy Strikeforce presence.

At first glance it seems like an unachievable pipe dream. Strikeforce drew a respectable crowd of around 12,000 for its last event in San Jose, Calif., but that figure comes in well below its record of 18,265 for “Shamrock vs. Gracie”  back in March 2006, even with Fedor, Fabricio Werdum, female champ “Cyborg” Santos and local heroes Cung Le and Josh Thomson on the card.

Sure, K-1 Dynamite USA back in 2007, featuring UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar‘s MMA debut, reportedly drew a crowd of 40,000 or so into the L.A. Coliseum, but most of those tickets were freebies. And with its strong business foundation in Japan, K-1 could afford to take a chance in the U.S. market without breaking even.

From a business sense, it’s probably good news that Strikeforce appears to be leaving the idea behind. It’s easy to question how much MMA really has matured from its roots with the media circus generated by the likes of Kimbo Slice and James Toney.

Herschel Walker‘s presence and every Strikeforce standout likely wouldn’t bring in enough fan interest to offset the costs of holding an event at Cowboys Stadium. A company with the revenue stream and brand recognition like the UFC can afford to take the occasional loss to further its long term interests, but Strikeforce has to be more conservative unless it wants to end up like Elite XC and others now buried in the MMA promotion graveyard.