(Robbie Lawler does his best Joe Stevenson impression at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin via Fightlinker.)
The California State Athletic Commission has released figures on the attendance and gate revenue for Saturday’s “Unfinished Business” show, and good Lord are they awful. Of the 8,541 seats available for the event, only 2,871 — or 33.6% — were purchased by fans. Of the remainder, 3,701 were given away as comps, and 2,023 went totally unused. The 2,871 paid tickets brought in $268,715 in revenue, which is less than the dollar value of the tickets that were given away ($340,960).
So, not only was “Unfinished Business” a ratings disappointment, but its live attendance (6,752 Stocktonites in total) was destroyed by other major MMA events held in California recently. For example…
Affliction: Banned — 14,832 total attendance, 11,242* paid (Anaheim, 7/19/08)
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson — 7,288 total, 6,750 paid (San Jose, 6/27/08)
WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver — 12,001 total, paid figure unavailable (Sacramento, 6/1/08)
Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le — 15,192 total, 14,710 paid (San Jose, 3/29/08)
UFC 76 (their most recent event in California) — 13,770 total, 11,817 paid (Anaheim, 9/22/07)
* figure is debatable.
Back in May, EliteXC’s “Primetime” card — held at Newark’s Prudential Center and starring Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano — drew a respectable 8,033 spectators. EliteXC plans on holding their next CBS show in October at the 20,000-seat BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. Of course Kimbo is going to be a big draw in his home state, but unless EliteXC likes hearing the echo of thousands of empty seats, they might want to think about scaling back a little.