The NSW Government expects tens of millions of dollars will pour into Sydney after a deal was reached to bring Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) back to the Harbour City for the first time since 2017.
The first event under the new agreement will be held this year when UFC 293 takes centre stage on Sunday 10 September, with the remaining three events under the deal to take place over four years.
It is an announcement that comes just three months after Wollongong local (and sports nutrition product CMBT co-owner) Alex Volkanovski took on Russian competitor Islam Makhachev in the RAC Arena in Perth, setting national revenue and attendance records for the venue, while 68 per cent of ticket buyers travelled from interstate or overseas.
Gross ticketing for the fight came close to $6 million, beating the previous Australian record held by the Rolling Stones at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena in 2014. That same venue played host to Sydney's first-ever UFC event in 2010 when Brazilian mixed martial artist Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fought the USA's Cain Velasquez.
UFC's return to Sydney will also mark just the second fight in Australia for the organisation since pre-COVID, when shortly before the pandemic began there were two UFC events held in Melbourne in 2019.
NSW Premier Chris Minns and Minister for Sport Stephen Kamper will today join UFC Vice President, Australia & New Zealand Peter Kloczko to announce the significant partnership.
It is anticipated that the UFC Pay Per View events will attract tens of thousands of international and domestic tourists, injecting tens of millions of dollars into the NSW visitor economy.
The state government believes the partnership will support hundreds of businesses and jobs across the NSW events sector, along with hotels, restaurants, shops and other tourism attractions.
There are now more than 700 million UFC fans across the globe, including a combined 233 million followers across UFC’s social media channels. In Australia and New Zealand combined, UFC has more than 4.3 million fans and 6 million social media followers.
"We are bringing three major UFC events to Sydney for the first time in more than a decade, which is a major coup for the people of NSW," says NSW Premier Chris Minns.
"This government has a laser-sharp focus to ensure we continue securing a calendar of exclusive, diverse and unmissable events to boost our visitor economy, support local businesses and create more jobs, and that’s exactly what these UFC events will do."
"With these three UFC events anticipated to inject tens of millions of dollars into local hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions, today’s announcement is a reminder of the importance of investing in world-class events and yet another incredible addition to Sydney’s unrivalled events calendar," adds NSW Minister for Jobs and Tourism John Graham.
UFC vice president Australia and New Zealand Peter Kloczko says the organisation's events drive strong economic outcomes through industry-high visitation and marketing value by showcasing host cities to millions of engaged fans worldwide.
"UFC events are the pinnacle of sports and entertainment," he says.
"Nothing compares to the UFC live event experience, which we are thrilled to be bringing to Sydney over the next four years. UFC events have massive local appeal with fans in all parts of Australia, while remaining relevant to a global audience of millions."
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