TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA — The Ultimate Fighting Championship will make mixed martial arts history when they bring home Canada’s number one athlete, Georges St-Pierre, to defend his welterweight title against Jake Shields at UFC 129 on April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
“UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields” is the first major MMA event to ever be held in Ontario. When tickets went on sale earlier this week, 42,000 seats were sold-out in a matter of minutes.
Due to the enormous demand, UFC and Rogers Centre officials reconfigured the venue to accommodate 55,000 fans, and those tickets sold-out as well.
Some critics were skeptical that a pro MMA event could actually fill up a stadium like the Rogers Centre. But those doubts have been crushed and Canada continues to prove it is the Mecca of modern mixed martial arts.
The ticket sales for UFC 129 doubles the largest gate and attendance records in UFC history. The previous gate record for a UFC event was $5.4 million for “UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena back in Dec. 2006.
The previous attendance record was set at the Bell Centre in Montreal this past December when over 23,000 fans attended “UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck“.
In addition to the UFC live gate and attendance records, UFC 129 has also set the record for the largest single-day event gate in the history of the Rogers Centre, which has been hosting major sporting and entertainment events for over 20 years.
UFC President Dana White commented on this historic achievement:
“UFC continues to set new milestones. We’ve sold 55,000 tickets in our first stadium event in Toronto and we continue to take the UFC to the next level.”
For those fans who were worried about the live UFC experience losing some of its luster in such a large venue, White said no one was more concerned about that than he was and they have gone to great lengths to solve those issues.