No word yet on whether Sunday's DREAM.8 fared any better in the ratings with its late night, tape delayed TBS slot than its immediate predecessor, but Nikkan Sports says that Fighting and Entertainment Group had a near sellout crowd on hand for the opening round of its Welterweight Grand Prix, with a reported 9,129 fans cramming the cozy Nippon Gaishi Hall (née Nagoya Rainbow Hall).
It was the smallest venue for a DREAM show to date, but an appropriate one: not only did three participants - Katsuyori Shibata, Ikuhisa Minowa and Yuya Shirai - hail from the area, but presumably many of the prefecture's Japanese-Brazilian residents were on hand to cheer on crossover karate phenom Andrews Nakahara.
Here's a look at DREAM's officially announced (i.e. totally unverified) attendance numbers over its first year:
DREAM.8 - Nippon Gaishi Hall, Nagoya, Japan - 9,129 (capacity: 10,000)
DREAM.7 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - 19,528 (capacity: n/a)
FieLDS Dynamite!! 2008 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - 25,634 (capacity: n/a)
DREAM.6 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - 20,929 (capacity: n/a)
DREAM.5 - Osaka-jō Hall, Osaka, Japan - 11,986 (capacity: 16,000)
DREAM.4 - Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan - 14,037 (capacity: 17,000)
DREAM.3 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - 21,789 (capacity: n/a)
DREAM.2 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - 21,397 (capacity: n/a)
DREAM.1 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - 19,120 (capacity: n/a)
Saitama Super Arena's main hall can hold between 19,000 and 22,500 when configured for MMA events. Most of DREAM's shows there have been officially announced as sellouts.
For DREAM.9 - which will be the first DREAM show of the year broadcast live and in primetime on TBS - FEG heads back to its old PRIDE stomping grounds and the 17,000-seat Yokohama Arena.