The UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship, is one of the fastest-growing sports leagues in the world. It’s a sport that revolves around mixed martial arts, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and other forms of hand-to-hand combat. The UFC is the creme de la creme of MMA, making its tickets some of the most sought-after in professional sports, but why are UFC tickets so expensive?
UFC tickets are so expensive because UFC fights don’t occur as frequently as other sporting events. Plus, seating is limited because the venues are often smaller than other professional arenas. These and other reasons account for the high prices of UFC tickets.
Throughout this article, we’ll go into more detail about the ins and outs of UFC ticket prices. We’ll take a look at why tickets cost so much and why people are willing to pay such a steep price. If you’re curious about the UFC and its operations, continue reading.
How Much Does a UFC Ticket Cost?
Low-grade fights where there are no title fights will be cheaper than premier fights. You can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $500 depending on where your seats are. Cageside seats will be the most expensive, and seats in the nose-bleed section will be the cheapest.
The cost of tickets for Pay-Per-View fights and title fights is a whole other story. Don’t expect to find a ticket for title fight events for less than $1,000 unless you’re lucky. Resale costs for these tickets are often much higher. Some tickets have sold for as much as $25,000 at UFC 205.
While ticket prices vary greatly depending on what fight you attend and the caliber of the fighters, they’re never cheap.
The Reasons Why UFC Tickets Are So Expensive
Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the reasons behind the high price tags on UFC tickets.
Fights Only Occur Once a Week
Professional baseball, basketball, football, and soccer have multiple days a week where events are held. Games for these sports are also held in cities across the country, making them more readily accessible than UFC events. The UFC holds fights one night a week at a single location, sometimes not even in the U.S.
Because of the irregularity of UFC fights and the limited number of venues available, tickets are much more expensive. Here are some numbers to help put things in perspective.
Baseball games in the United States will have around 3.6 million tickets available throughout the week. This means that baseball fans will have a much easier time finding tickets to an event than UFC fans. The UFC will have around 15,000 tickets available for their weekly event.
The NFL will have around 1.1 million tickets for sale in the U.S. each week and around 300,000 tickets will be available in American soccer. The UFC has created a monopoly on where their events can be hosted and the frequency of their fights. The rareness of events is a huge factor in their ticket prices.
Less Seating Than Other Sporting Events
The amount of people in attendance at UFC events is another reason for high ticket prices.
UFC arenas don’t usually hold more than 10,000 to 15,000 people. Most other professional sporting arenas hold anywhere from 50,000 to 120,000 at full capacity. Because of the low number of available seats, they’re more valuable to fans of the sport.
Mixed martial arts is also unique in the fact that many professional athletes from other sports love watching UFC events. MMA is a sport that professional athletes in other sports aren’t allowed to compete due to the dangers involved. This factor makes it very appealing for athletes and celebrities of all kinds, adding to the reasons why UFC tickets are so expensive.
As more and more celebrities post on social media about watching UFC events, the sport has grown substantially. The UFC has become an event that celebrities fawn over.
Regular people follow these famous individuals on social media and want to hold the same interests that they hold. It’s a cycle that results in more people watching UFC events on television and in person. This, too, drives up the prices of tickets.
Where Does the Ticket Money Go?
Ticket money gets dispersed between a number of different parties. The fighters get a cut, the venue gets a cut, and the UFC president gets a big chunk. There’s also the referees, ring girls, and production staff that have to get paid as well.
On average, professional UFC fighters don’t make as much money as other professional athletes. They get paid based on their performance and popularity. The average salary for UFC fighters is $73,000, but the range of salary varies greatly. There are some fighters who make millions of dollars a year and some that make only $30,000 annually.
Where fighters have the opportunity to make more money is in the form of bonuses and endorsements. If a fighter wins their match, they get an extra $20,000 to $40,000. Fight of the night awards earn them $50,000 bonuses. So with these relatively low salaries, where is the rest of the money going?
Referees only earn around $500 per fight, and there are anywhere from 8 to 16 fights per night. The UFC is a business, so there will be typical marketing and employee expenses to be considered. Additionally, UFC events put on more of a show than most other sporting venues, so there are additional production costs.
Are UFC Tickets Worth the Cost?
Most people who attend UFC events comment on the show-like production and atmosphere that’s involved in staging the fights. The adrenaline rush that people experience watching two people physically fight each other is also tough to put a price tag on.
So, why are UFC tickets so expensive — primarily because of how difficult they are to acquire!
The UFC has gone to great lengths to market itself as the premier sporting event. The rareness of fights, the relatively low-capacity arenas, and the unique popularity of the sport all factor into ticket prices.
The UFC is a business that will charge whatever people are willing to pay for tickets. The cost of a ticket is high simply because people will pay to be in attendance. Until the sport loses popularity, don’t expect prices to go down any time soon.