The UFC decided to come back to Vancouver after a three year absence for UFC 174 last night in Rogers Arena. Unfortunately for the promotion, the last of top-level stars on the card led to their lowest attendance and gate numbers in their three trips to the city. And it's quite a steep drop-off, especially in terms of the gate.
The UFC first came to Vancouver in June 2010 featured a main event pitting Chuck Liddell against Rich Franklin. That card drew 17,669 fans and earned a very good gate of 4.2 million. They returned in the same month of 2011 with UFC 131, where the headliner saw Junior dos Santos facing off with Shane Carwin. That card went down in the midst of the Stanley Cup finals that Vancouver's hockey team, the Canucks, were competing in. They drew 14,685 fans for a gate of 2.8 million. Still pretty decent.
This time though, the UFC might be slightly concerned. Attendance for UFC 174, featuring a flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov on top, dipped slightly to 13,506, but the gate was just 1.14 million. That's the lowest PPV gate of the year for the promotion, and the show was event outdone by Fox shows and a Fight Night or two over the course of 2014.
Will the UFC return to Vancouver next year? That remains to be seen, but numbers like this aren't going to help.