Even though Chicago is my hometown, I was dismayed by the experience at Allstate arena, and the crowd was brutal as well. First off, the seats at allstate arena are so narrow that you feel squeezed in. I'm an average sized guy, I can't imagine how any "heavyweights" would be able to sit in these seats!
The crowd were a bunch of drunkards! I had several friends sitting throughout the stadium in various sections and they expressed the same experience. These drunkards wouldn't even wait for breaks in between rounds to get up. They would constantly be getting up for more beer or probably to go to the bathroom endlessly in the middle of fights! Everyone was doing it so nobody yelled at them, because I guess it was viewed as normal
Later in the evening the police told the concession stands to stop serving alcohol because the whole stadium was getting plastered. I doubt any of them even remember the last few fights of the night.
On the plus side, the stadium was not visibly sold out and so there were numerous pockets of good seats together. The stadium security could care less if you moved around to better seats. Though I did not try to get down to the lower level. Nevertheless that stadium is so small that even if you were standing at the roof level and watching the fight, you had a good angle on the octagon. Next time I'm going to save money and just buy a $50 ticket for any seat that's available since I truly believe there's no such thing as a bad seat in that place.
Due to the intoxication level of the place, there were numerous drunk comments being shouted out throughout the night like "Finish him!", or my favorite when there was a rare quiet moment someone would yell "Rogan smokes blunts!".
Anyway I've also been to events in Ohio and Montreal, and I enjoyed their crowds and stadiums much better. Ohio was always extremely quiet like a library. It was like everyone there was a diehard knowledgeable fan who were intently studying the fights in silent observation. Montreal on the other hand was the best ever. An enormous stadium with 4 levels and the entire crowd chanting positively like they were watching their hometown sports team. Of course GSP was there that night, but the crowd was chanting positively during every fight. It was like one great unified party.
Its interesting that Dana says that Chicago is the payperview purchasing leader in the nation, yet they couldn't even visibly sell out the small Allstate arena. I have a feeling that the ppv stats are skewed due to the fact that almost every bar in Chicago shows the ppv every month (usually without a cover charge).
Anyway it was interesting to note that the drunk crowd at Allstate arena was booing Anderson Silva when he was playfully toying with Cote. I actually found that toying to be pretty entertaining. I do not feel it was disrespectful to Cote and I'd say it was definitely not disrespectful to the drunk fans at the Allstate arena. I watched the televised bio on Silva with Rachelle Leah and what I saw then was a very playful man. I think that that is simply what we saw again in the octagon last night, a playful man who was just being himself. Furthermore, when the fight ended on account of Cote blowing out his knee, the crowd booed because the intial instant replay did not zoom in on his leg. Of course we can't hear the commentators (I so wish that they would broadcast on a radio frequency like what happens for hockey games), so we didn't know what to think at the time. Later they showed a replay which zoomed in on his leg and we all understood. I really hope there's a rematch, because I really think Cote had a chance!