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UFC uses Sphere to unveil sponsor for venue’s 1st live sporting event

Updated June 26, 2024 - 8:13 pm

The UFC used The Sphere’s massive exterior screen Wednesday to make a groundbreaking announcement about the first live sporting event at the facility.

A graphic declaring Riyadh Season the title sponsor of UFC 306 was unveiled just after 7 p.m. This marks the first time a live UFC event will have a title partner.

The event, now known as Riyadh Season Noche UFC, is scheduled for Sept. 14 at The Sphere as part of Mexican Independence Day weekend.

UFC president Dana White has vowed to make full use of the venue’s revolutionary audio and visual capabilities in putting on the event.

“This will be one of the biggest sporting events of all time,” White said in a statement confirming the partnership. “What we’re going to pull off at Sphere will never be done again. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for sports fans. At the same time, this is going to be an incredible tribute to the Mexican people for their extraordinary contributions to combat sports.”

It will also be a big moment for the venue, which will break into the live sporting event space in Las Vegas with a splash.

“The first sporting event at Sphere is a significant milestone not only for the venue, but also for live sports overall,” said Jim Dolan, Executive Chairman and CEO, Sphere Entertainment. “UFC has been a longtime partner across the MSG Family of Companies, and we look forward to making history with them once again and delivering an experience that leverages Sphere’s cutting-edge technologies to reimagine what UFC and combat sports can look like.”

The announcement of the UFC’s partner sponsorship comes on the heels of the UFC’s first event in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The country is preparing for the fifth edition of Riyadh Season, a festival of concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and cultural happenings running from October through March. It will have a fixed watermark on the UFC 306 broadcast and high-visibility placement inside the cage during the event, in addition to inclusion in marketing and promotional materials.

Turki Alalshikh, a Saudi adviser at the Royal Court and chairman of the General Entertainment Authority who has built a reputation as a power broker in boxing, confirmed the UFC deal in a statement.

“This will be a milestone moment as it will be the first sporting event to take place at Sphere in Las Vegas,” Alalshikh said. “The UFC brand is recognized globally with its huge fanbase, and this aligns with our own vision for Riyadh Season to collaborate to create and stage world-class events.”

No fights have been announced for the card, nor have tickets gone on sale, but White said he is pleased to welcome in Riyadh Season as a partner.

“We’re thrilled that Turki Alalshikh and the Saudi General Entertainment Authority have stepped up to partner with us to make this the greatest event in the history of combat sports,” White added. “Their participation shows just how massive the interest is from all over the world. Riyadh Season Noche UFC will be unforgettable.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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