UFC needs to get out of the Apex in 2024

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It’s been a while since a month-long stretch of the UFC calendar didn’t contain a show at the Apex in Las Vegas, but maybe that could change soon.

Following the conclusion of UFC on ESPN 56 at a raucous Enterprise Center in St. Louis, UFC CEO Dana White revealed the promotion’s all time UFC Fight Night gate record was broken with a whopping $2,470,197 at the door.

“Even if you were watching on ESPN, I’m sure you guys were getting texts too, like, ‘Jesus Christ, it’s like a pay-per-view there right now,’” White told reporters at his post-fight news conference. “And when you think about how we built this business, it was taking it out of the big markets.

“When we first got into the fight business, everybody just went to Vegas, Atlantic City, sometimes New York, sometimes L.A. Those were the only places that really had fights unless you had a local kid that would fight. We built this business to taking this thing to every city all over the world. As we start to get our sh*t together, I’ll call it, and start to move out and go out to these different cities like we used to, the whole sport just goes to another level.”

The UFC Apex events began in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak as a way to hold lower-cost shows in Las Vegas and comply with government protocols.

While all signs pointed to the in-house shift being temporary, the venue still housed dozens of UFC events in the years that followed: 29 in 2020; 42 in 2021; 29 in 2022; and 27 in 2023. As of the end of August, the promotion will have held 15 events at the UFC Apex in 2024.

While White has long indicated he wants to move away from the in-house shows at the UFC Apex, he said 2024 will be the year the promotion increases its roadshows further.

“I’ve been saying this for a long time,” White said. “We’ve got to get out of the Apex and start doing more events in all these different cities. We’re starting to do it. We’re getting it done this year.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 56.

 

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