May 12, 2012
UFC 149 in Calgary sells out
By DAMIEN WOOD, QMI Agency
CALGARY - Those looking for tickets to July's Calgary UFC event will have to fight for first crack with scalpers -- UFC 149 is officially sold out.
Tickets went on sale -- and quickly ran out -- Saturday.
The UFC was thrilled by the response, said director of UFC Canadian operations Tom Wright.
“We couldn’t be happier, it’s a reflection of how strong the market is in Alberta,” he said.
“We said we are going to bring a good card and we will bring a good card.”
Scalpers were already cashing in on the fight’s popularity even before the last ticket sold.
Floor seats were being sold for more than $2,000 for a pair on one site.
Another seller was offering four ringside seats and VIP passes, pitching the whopping $49,000 asking price that would allow its buyers to rub elbows with celebrities.
Wright said the UFC does all it can to prevent the impact of scalpers selling the tickets at an inflated price on a secondary market.
“We have always done our best,” he said, adding buyers were allowed only four tickets each.
“You can minimize it but you can’t eliminate it.”
UFC 149, featuring Erik Koch taking on champion Jose Aldo in a fight for Aldo’s featherweight title, is the first of three Canadian UFC events in the coming months, the other two being in Toronto and Montreal.
Also on the card are Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fighting Thiago Silva, Minotauro Nogueira fighting Cheick Kongo and Michael Bisping fighting Tim Boetsch.
Canadian talent, including Alberta-bred talent, will also be spotlighted in several fights, with Calgary’s Nick Ring facing Court McGee, Edmonton’s Mitch Clarke facing Anton Kuivanen, Sudbury’s Mitch Gagnon facing Bryan Caraway, Oshawa’s Antonio Carvalho facing George Roop and Edmonton’s Ryan Jimmo facing Anthony Perosh.
With the sellout, attendance for the July 21 event in Calgary is expected to be over 18,000.
— With files by Katie Schneider