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UFC generates $3 million gate in Chicago

Mixed martial may on the verge of a breakout, as UFC 90 generates the largest gate in Allstate Arena history.
Mixed martial has suffered from comparison with professional wrestling and boxing over the last several years, but the sport , in the form of Ultimate FIghting Championship, may be ready to emerge as a national force — and a potential windfall for arena operators looking for another draw during slow times.

Witness last night’s UFC 90, which drew the largest gate in Allstate Arena history, according to UFC President Dana White. While professional wrestling has slowed as a regional draw and boxing a hard sell outside of Las Vegas and New York City, mixed martial is poised to be the next steady fan attractor.

The demographics of the sport may surprise many: they cut across income and educational levels in ways Vince MacMahon can only dream. That allowed Allstate Arena to generate such a large gate. Plus, it’s a sport that doesn’t rely on the elaborate staging now found in the wrestling world, and it’s more sophisticated than pure boxing. So watch for more growth in the mixed-martial world.