According to Todd Martin of MMAPayout the attendance at this show could possibly not sell as well as many people think...being that Atlanta is the 9th largest metropolitan area in the U.S.... Check it...
It is UFC’s first show in the market, and features UFC’s top draw in Chuck Liddell. Those signs point to a strong gate, and indeed the show may do well.
However, one thing to keep in mind in advance is that Atlanta may be the worst sports town in the United States. Despite having the 9th largest metropolitan area in the United States, no Atlanta team has drawn the 9th or better attendance in any sport in the past five years. Atlanta has also featured empty seats in crucial playoff games.
If in a month people are wondering why tickets haven’t moved briskly for a Chuck Liddell fight in a new market, the explanation may lie in the UFC’s choice of venue.
I agree...Atlanta IS a horrible sports town for the most part and here's why:
- 2007-2008: 16,280 fans average, 86.9 percent capacity, 20th of 30 teams
- 2006-2007: 15,594 fans average, 78.0 percent capacity, 26th of 30 teams
- 2005-2006: 15,068 fans average, 75.3 percent capacity, 29th of 30 teams
- 2004-2005: 14,456 fans average, 72.3 percent capacity, 28th of 30 teams
- 2003-2004: 13,798 fans average, 69.0 percent capacity, 29th of 29 teams
- 2007-2008: 15,824 fans average, 85.3 percent capacity, 22nd of 30 teams
- 2006-2007: 16,229 fans average, 87.5 percent capacity, 21st of 30 teams
- 2005-2006: 15,550 fans average, 83.9 percent capacity, 23rd of 30 teams
- 2004-2005: No Games (Lockout)
- 2003-2004: 15,121 fans average, 81.5 percent capacity, 21st of 30 teams
- 2007: 68,395 fans average, 96.0 percent capacity, 16th of 32 teams
- 2006: 70,432 fans average, 98.9 percent capacity, 11th of 32 teams
- 2005: 70,638 fans average, 99.2 percent capacity, 10th of 32 teams
- 2004: 70,603 fans average, 99.1 percent capacity, 11th of 32 teams
- 2003: 70,459 fans average, 98.9 percent capacity, 11th of 32 teams
- 2008: 30,178 fans average, 64.0 percent capacity, 14th of 30 teams
- 2007: 33,891 fans average, 67.7 percent capacity, 14th of 30 teams
- 2006: 31,869 fans average, 63.6 percent capacity, 14th of 30 teams
- 2005: 31,519 fans average, 62.9 percent capacity, 15th of 30 teams
- 2004: 29,399 fans average, 58.7 percent capacity, 16th of 30 teams
The proofs in the pudding....the stats don't lie. However, comparing UFC/MMA with the other major sports teams in ATL is comparing apples and oranges. Fans in Atlanta have become accustomed to those teams being garbage(Cept the Braves). Not only is this the first time the UFC has come to ATL...this is the first time a PPV event has come to this part of the USA since the dark ages if I'm not mistaken. So I expect fans from neighboring states to come in droves. My evidence is purely anecdotal...I live in NC and I know tons of people that plan on making the drive down...I know I am(ordered my tickets Saturday). So surely the same thing will happen in Tenn, Florida, Miss., Alabama, etc. All in all...I think this event will do very well especially with Liddell on the card...so let's check back in a month with an update on ticket sales. I can say this...a friend of mine was trying to get tickets for this event today and hasn't been too successful...or maybe he's just cheap.