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UFC 102 Far From Sold Out; Economy, Taxes Problematic

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A story that’s seemingly flown right under the radar the last couple weeks is the fact that the UFC is having trouble selling tickets for its 102 event to be held at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The venue holds nearly 20,000 people for an MMA event, but has sold just over 9,000 tickets to date.

It’s surprising news for a number of reasons: Randy Couture is an Oregon boy, MMA is fairly popular in the state, and the UFC has built up a tremendous amount of momentum in recent months. When you look deeper, however, it’s not so surprising at all that UFC 102 is struggling to fill its arena.

The UFC was actually slated to bring their show to Portland back in November of 2008, but it is believed that the organization cancelled those plans and chose Las Vegas instead due to a combination of the poor economy in Oregon and exhoribidant event taxation in Portland.

Fast forward to 2009 and the economy is only getting worse:

Oregon’s economy, bad as it is, will get even worse over the coming months, threatening double-digit unemployment and early school closures while sucking billions of dollars from the state budget, according to a forecast released Friday.



“We’re falling basically into a pit,” said state economist Tom Potiowsky. He had the unenviable job of telling stone-faced state officials how much — or how little — they can spend on education, aid to the poor and other programs.



According to Potiowsky’s forecast, which is used to set state spending levels, the current state budget will come up short by $855 million. For the 2009-11 budget, the gap between projected revenue and the rising cost of state services grows to $3 billion.



The sharp drop stems from the same forces that clobbered the nation’s economy: dried-up export markets, tumbling home values, falling stock prices and frightened consumers.



“The perfect storm is here,” Potiowsky said. “And Oregon is feeling the recession stronger than many other states.” He predicted

Exacerbating the problem even further are the 6% gross receipt taxes levied by both the Oregon State Athletic Commission and the City of Portland for MMA events held in the city - ie., 12%.


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Post #1   8/18/09 11:21:01AM   

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That's too bad cause it prob means they won't go back after this show

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Post #2   8/18/09 11:26:42AM   

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I think the card while isn't necessarily weak...Couture v Nogueria is more of a co-main event right now...and Jardine v Silva is maybe co-main event worthy to a bigger main event...I think Maia v Marquardt would have been a better co-main event

Post #3   8/18/09 12:21:54PM   

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Posted by sclasclemski

I think the card while isn't necessarily weak...Couture v Nogueria is more of a co-main event right now...and Jardine v Silva is maybe co-main event worthy to a bigger main event...I think Maia v Marquardt would have been a better co-main event



In Couture's home state?

Couture is BY FAR a bigger name than Maia OR Marquardt.

EDIT: Oops...I think you were talking in terms of fight quality and not marketability. My apologies.

Last edited 8/18/09 12:25PM server time by emfleek
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Post #4   8/18/09 12:24:48PM   

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No worries...I'm just feeling, like I'm sure most people are, that this fight would have been a whole lot more interesting as a title unification fight a year ago...now it just feels like an old-timers fight.

Post #5   8/18/09 12:38:18PM   

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Posted by sclasclemski

No worries...I'm just feeling, like I'm sure most people are, that this fight would have been a whole lot more interesting as a title unification fight a year ago...now it just feels like an old-timers fight.



This fight should have happened along time ago. It would have been a great fight after Randy got beat by Ricco and Nog got saved by a bad decision against Ricco.

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Post #6   8/18/09 12:41:34PM   

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Nate vs Mia is the ONLY fight I'm interested in on the main card It's the only fight realitive to a title run. This card is a joke. I won't be buying it, but might go to a bar to watch. I'm not making any plans to see it though.

Post #7   8/18/09 1:17:54PM   

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I guess I also wouldn't mind seeing the Vera vs Soszynski fight either. Main event and Co-main event just don't intrest me. Thiago should run through Jardine and I really don't care who wins the Couture fight. Retirement for both fighters after their respective contracts expire.

Last edited 8/18/09 1:24PM server time by stills79
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Post #8   8/18/09 1:22:22PM   

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Posted by sclasclemski

No worries...I'm just feeling, like I'm sure most people are, that this fight would have been a whole lot more interesting as a title unification fight a year ago...now it just feels like an old-timers fight.



Yeah, its because its in Randy's home state. Its like Bisping in England. Bisping is not main event status worthy, but Wandy vs Bisping will probably be the co, if not the main event.

Post #9   8/18/09 3:35:28PM   

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Posted by Stills79

I guess I also wouldn't mind seeing the Vera vs Soszynski fight either. Main event and Co-main event just don't intrest me. Thiago should run through Jardine and I really don't care who wins the Couture fight. Retirement for both fighters after their respective contracts expire.



yes I think if Thiago takes out Jardine people can finally start dropping him off their top ten lists...he's a tough SOB no doubt about it but he's just not consistent enough IMO. I respect his heart but he just doesn't have it to be a champion...but who knows...he could take it to Thiago.


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Yeah, its because its in Randy's home state. Its like Bisping in England. Bisping is not main event status worthy, but Wandy vs Bisping will probably be the co, if not the main event.



I thought Wanderlai was out for the year due to face surgery...didn't think that fight was gonna happen...I smell a chuck/Wand rematch in 2010

Post #10   8/18/09 5:10:43PM   

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wow maybe when i get there i can upgrade my seat at the ticket booth

Post #11   8/18/09 7:55:30PM   

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I doubt they're trying to sell 20,000 since they're no longer on ticketmaster.com as available.

They sold out of the basic $50 tickets within hours back on June 20th.

Obviously they should've had more in that price range; but still I really doubt they have 11,000 more available in the 200-600 price range; if they do then they were trying to fail at selling the arena out.

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Post #12   8/21/09 3:51:46PM