March 3, 2017 - 1:43 pm
Updated March 3, 2017 - 8:08 pm
T-Mobile Arena already had become the go-to venue for UFC events in Las Vegas. On Friday, it became official.
AEG and MGM Resorts, the operators of T-Mobile Arena, announced that the UFC will be an anchor tenant.
The partnership, which extends for “more than seven years,” according to a source familiar with the deal, establishes the year-old venue as the UFC’s exclusive arena destination in Las Vegas and gives the UFC priority scheduling with the other anchor tenant, the NHL’s Golden Knights.
“Las Vegas has always been the home of UFC, and after more than a decade, it is awesome to now have a historic venue deal in the Fight Capital of the World to make it official,” UFC president Dana White said in a statement.
The agreement calls for the UFC to hold at least four events per year at T-Mobile Arena and have a permanent presence at the venue, including a welcome sign in the lobby, concourse signage and retail space.
“We have enjoyed a tremendous partnership with UFC for many years and are excited to enter into this exclusive agreement at T-Mobile Arena, a first for the industry,” MGM Resorts president Bill Hornbuckle said in a statement. “While UFC calls Las Vegas home, there are few brands as powerful globally. We look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world for years to come for the kind of spectacular events and entertainment that can only be found in this city.”
The UFC will host its fourth major card at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday when UFC 209 is headlined by a welterweight rematch between Stephen Thompson and champion Tyron Woodley.
“In less than one year, we have set multiple records in the T-Mobile Arena, and we look forward to continuing to work with our long-standing partners, both world leaders in the arena and entertainment sectors, to elevate and showcase the best of our brand,” said Peter Dropick, UFC senior vice president of event development and operations.
UFC 200, UFC 202 and UFC 207 also were at T-Mobile Arena in 2016.
Todd Goldstein, AEG’s chief revenue officer, said the partnership is a logical match.
“From Day One, AEG and MGM Resorts have been committed to developing a showplace for the very best in concerts, championship sporting events, awards shows and special events that would be unrivaled not only in Las Vegas but in our industries,” he said. “There is no doubt that UFC is synonymous with the biggest and best events today that attract unprecedented international audiences on platforms of all kinds. T-Mobile Arena is truly a one-of-a-kind, world-class arena that will create the most outstanding stage and atmosphere worthy of the incredible events of all kinds UFC and WME-IMG will bring to our venue and, most importantly, our fans.”
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When: Saturday (4 p.m. first fight; 7 p.m. main card)
Where: T-Mobile Arena
TV: Fox Sports 1 preliminary card; pay-per-view main card
Main card bouts for UFC 209 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena:
• Tyron Woodley (16-3-1) vs. Stephen Thompson (13-1-1), for Woodley’s welterweight title
• Rashad Evans (24-5-1) vs. Dan Kelly (12-1), middleweights
• Lando Vannata (9-1) vs. David Teymur (5-1), lightweights
• Amanda Cooper (3-2) vs. Cynthia Calvillo (3-0), women’s strawweights
• Alistair Overeem (41-15, 1 No Contest) vs. Mark Hunt (12-11-1), heavyweights