The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to Perth this year with the McGowan Government and Tourism Western Australia securing a major event organised by the world’s leading mixed martial arts promoter.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia joined current UFC featherweight champion, Australian Alex Volkanovski, at RAC Arena today to announce Perth will host the pay-per-view UFC 251 on Sunday June 7, 2020.
Pay-per-views are the top tier of UFC events, attracting massive global audiences – with only 12 held each year, and only two or three of those hosted outside North America.
UFC 251 is the only pay-per-view UFC event scheduled for Australia this year, with the sport’s dedicated fan base expected to converge on Perth for the event.
The return of the globally popular spectacle is expected to again attract thousands of interstate tourists to WA – filling hotel rooms and supporting local tourism and hospitality businesses during the State’s traditionally quieter winter period.
UFC made its WA debut in February 2018 with UFC 221: ROMERO vs. ROCKHOLD. The event saw 12,437 people fill RAC Arena to watch the main card middleweight match-up of Cuban powerhouse, Yoel Romero and Californian, Luke Rockhold.
Visitors to UFC 221 injected around $5.3 million of direct spend into the WA economy, with about 30 percent of ticket sales – or 3,702 tickets – bought by patrons from outside the State.
Broadcasts of UFC pay-per-views have the potential to reach one billion households in 172 countries. UFC also has a social media reach of more than 79 million followers.
Tourism WA will use these social media platforms to showcase WA, promoting Perth’s spectacular natural surroundings, vibrant city nightlife and the State’s unique regional areas to millions of people around the globe.
Today’s announcement is a result of the State Government’s decision in June 2017 to lift a ban on the UFC’s ‘octagon’, which allowed Tourism WA to secure UFC events for the benefit of local tourism and the wider economy.
Ticketing and bout information for UFC 251 will be finalised in the coming months. UFC fans can register their interest to stay up-to date at https://www.ufc.com/perth
As stated by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
“Perth’s first UFC event in 2018 was an absolute triumph for WA tourism – drawing thousands of visitors and supporting our hotels, bars, restaurants and other small businesses.
“We’re looking forward to UFC 251 being another great success and solidifying Perth’s claim to be a regular host city for UFC’s future championship bouts.
“These major events are only hosted outside North America a couple of times a year, so to secure another one is a major success for WA tourism and an indicator of Perth’s growing global reputation.
“About 3,700 tickets for Perth’s first UFC event were sold to people from outside Western Australia – who stayed an average of three nights in the city and spent about $444 a day each. We expect similar benefits for Perth’s tourism and hospitality industries for UFC 251.
“The UFC’s incredible social media and broadcast reach will also provide terrific value, promoting Perth and Western Australia to huge global audiences.”
As stated by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
“Securing UFC 251 is a major coup for the State, as the mixed martial arts sport is highly-prized for its significant global fan-base on social media and through pay-per-view broadcast.
“Hosting a second UFC event shows that Perth has an excellent reputation as a city that has a variety of quality venues to attract elite-level sporting events of all kinds.
“We’re looking forward to locals and visitors getting behind another UFC event in Perth, and the sport delivering more great results for the State.”