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More Details on the Enormous Freakin’ Venue for UFC 112

UFC 112 venue Abu Dhabi Yas Island Abu Dhabi
(Photo of the work-in-progress courtesy of Flash.)

In just six days, the UFC will hold its first-ever event in the Middle East. For those of you who assume there’s a Bojangles Coliseum available in every city in the world, let me assure you that that’s not the case. (Bojangles should be so lucky.) Instead, the historic event required that a brand-new open-air stadium be built from scratch in about 20 days. Meanwhile, my neighbor Chris has been trying to build a deck in his backyard for three years. And before you think that this stadium is just some slapped-together P.O.S., check out this article on the massive undertaking published yesterday in UAE’s English-language paper, The National:

For Lee Charteris, the director of operations for the event organisers, Flash, and the army of 300 staff and sub-contractors he commands, the work started in early December. That was when construction of a purpose-built venue that will be able to hold more than 12,000 people at the Ferrari World amusement park on Yas Island began.
 
He said the structures his company built for the Aerosmith and Beyoncé concerts during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year were impressive enough. “I thought we had pushed the boat out. But we have gone one [step further] this time. This is the biggest thing I have ever built.”…
 

“We have tried to create within that space what will be the crucible, this big, high-walled amphitheatre that focuses down on the fighters,” Mr Charteris said. “We obviously provide grandstand seating at a lot of concerts, but this is different in that it’s four large grandstands…with even bigger structures behind them which house the video screens that will be showing the live fights.”
 
A structure above the Octagon – the cage in which the bouts take place – has been built to support the 24 tonnes of suspended audio and visual equipment needed to ensure both the spectators on hand and the millions expected to watch on pay-per-view television around the world will not be disappointed. “I would say there will be more audio for UFC than the Aerosmith concert,” Mr Charteris said. “It is bone-crushing.”
 
The 50th truckload of scaffolding was driven onto the site on Thursday as staff continued to work from dawn until dusk to ensure the venue would be ready to hand over to the UFC’s international team, which arrived last weekend from the UK…Shipping the Octagon from the UK and transporting it to the site was a month-long process…UFC employees have taken over two hotels on Yas Island as they have arrived over the past week on flights from around the world.
 
[Managing director of UFC international development Marshall] Zelaznik said UFC normally is ready in two days, but the new, outdoor venue will require additional time to test the lighting and music. The structure will be dismantled after the fights.

Wait, so the next time the UFC does an event in Abu Dhabi, they’ll have to build this whole thing all over again? Brilliant. For the record, tickets for UFC 112 are still available at boxofficeme.com. Prices range from $107.63 for nosebleed seats to $1,006.81 for floor seats. But then when you factor in airfare (about $1,500/ticket at this point) and hotel (about $2,000/night at the Burj al Arab), you’re almost better off watching it at home…

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dranokills- April 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm
@common sense

suck it.

to bad you don't any common sense when it comes to humor huh?
I suppose kiddinomite was spot fucking on, and ok right?
Yeah you really need to learn to read and comprehend more often before you jump out on a limb......or maybe you just like to be a douchebag.
common sense- April 6, 2010 at 7:40 am
@dranokills

ignorant.

Thats crazy they are just gonna dismantle it afterwards
AussieJosh- April 5, 2010 at 9:48 pm
I cant belive they have not sold it out yet! Bring UFC back to Australia! So we can break some more records!
dranokills- April 5, 2010 at 9:30 pm
I wonder if they will have a suicide-bombing section, and a NON suicide bombing section?
Wiskey Tango- April 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm
well... i have to say this.... Abu Dhabi pays out big dollars for American culture to come to them. They pay big dollars for Djs and concerts and even washed up acts and go there and get paid....I would be shocked if we don't hear Goldberg say.."This sold out crowd is electric"... the place will be packed. BUT..What i am curious about is how the crowd will react
Charming Charlie- April 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm
In this thread MMA fans generalize about rich countries named Abu Dubai and their flawed business strategies.
parchy mcthirst- April 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm
So the very fact that the city, Abu Dhabi, is wealthy means that people will go watch MMA? You seem to be forgetting the concept and feeling of desire, which would be required for people to go watch the UFC this weekend. The mere fact that people have money does not automatically dictate that thousands upon thousands of people will flock the UFC event this weekend. So...what do you have to say about that Charlie Bravo?
Boss Rutten- April 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm
Abu Dhabi isnt a country, its a city in the United Arab Emirates.
And yes, UAE is one of the richest, if not the richest per capita country in the world.

The place is a playground for the rich and elite of the world. I would be shocked if the venue isnt sold out.
Bunk- April 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm
This is really a crowd shot of War Machine's last fight
Wiskey Tango- April 5, 2010 at 3:53 pm
Speaking of heads and asses.... Parchy, you may wanna get your head out of your ass, Abu Dhabi is one of the richest countries in the world, so I do not see too many seat being empty. As much as Dana is a douche, he is not stupid......
parchy mcthirst- April 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm
soo they built this gargantuan structure that can seat over 12,000, yet there will only be a smidgen of that number of people actually in the seats? Doesn't the UFC realize that not everybody can wipe their asses with 100$ bills and not give a fuck? Or is this Dana White's cruel joke to the world that he can rub his bald head with 100$ bills that are coated with wax and not give a fuck?
robthom- April 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm
"Lets hope it doesn't fall on the spiders head."

I'm hoping it does.

And if the lord loves us he'll give it a shove while spider is having a photo op with tito ortiz and josh barnett.
CapitalQ- April 5, 2010 at 2:16 pm
You know, this is the kinda of shit that has these Gulf countries in debt. Building huge one time use venues. What a terrible decision. Their whole business style is like one big dick waving contest after another, as evidenced by these 3000 foot skyscrapers poppin up all over the damn place. I guess thats what we get for making a bunch of fuckin desert sheiks richer than God. They immediately start building these monumental projects with out realizing that the interest generated in them is because of novelty, and then once that novelty wears off people will realize.... HEY!! This is in the middle of the fucking desert!!!! And they dont serve booze!!! And then we will have man made islands with no fucking people on them.....
TfTransplant- April 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm
So it takes these guys roughly 20 days to build the entire venue, but it takes the UFC a whole month to move the Octogon??? What the fuck, Dana?
KidDinomite- April 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm
Anyone want to speculate on whether there will be a terrorist attack?
Nealio- April 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm
@danomit
That's exactly what I was thinking.
El Famous Burrito- April 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm
@Viva Hate

God, that's lame....but I laughed anyway.
DannyXL- April 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm
The Burj Al Arab is in Dubai not Abu Dhabi.
jimbonics- April 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm
Almost...
Viva Hate- April 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Any word if Nermal will be in the crowd? HA!
Scott- April 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm
Has anyone discussed about how fighting outside will have an effect on the fighters? It will be in the 70's when they fight if its in the evening.
LastEmperor- April 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm
Looks like a shitty outdoor water park seating to me.

I'm looking for a seal tank.

Lets hope it doesn't fall on the spiders head.
danomite- April 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm
you think bodog will be taking odds on whether the 24 tons of a/v equipment collapses and crushes somebody in the octagon?
Wiskey Tango- April 5, 2010 at 1:21 pm
Where is the camel parking????
Murdock- April 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm
Wonder how the crowds gonna be??
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