The UFC, much like many other sports organizations and businesses, have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
While the UFC is back running events, one thing UFC President Dana White believes is that the promotion will lose $100 million this year due to the lack of live gates.
“If you look at these other sports right now, ‘Are we gonna go or are we not gonna go?’” White said during a recent media scrum (via Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting). “The big problem for all sports right now, me, them, is the gate. We’ll lose over $100 million dollars this year. Over $100 million. It would be much easier for me to sit back and say, ‘Let’s wait this thing out.’ Waiting this thing out is a good option for a lot of people right now because there’s no gate. Why aren’t they releasing all these movies? They have all these movies in the can right now, they could be pumping these movies out left and right. Because they’re gonna lose possibly hundreds of millions of dollars in releasing these movies without people going and buying tickets in movie theaters. It usually goes to movie theaters, then it goes to some exclusive pay window, and then it gets released everywhere, then on TV. Financially, it’s hard to operate right now with the way that things are going on, but I’m moving forward. I don’t care. I’m gonna push through this.”
Since the UFC isn’t a publicly traded company, it is highly unlikely that anybody outside of the organization will know exactly how much money was lost due to the lack of live gates.
White also believes that he has done what is right for the promotion and the fighters during the pandemic.
“In this business, I am the guy that assumes all the risk,” White said. “I’m gonna get you to fight for this, and you’re gonna fight for that, you, you, we build a card. When we came out in this pandemic, common sense would tell you we’re gonna do good. There’s no guarantees that we’re gonna do well. I assume all the risk and that is my job to figure out. I haven’t paid too much attention to it ‘cause I got my own problems, I think that’s what’s going on in baseball. The owners are saying, ‘Wait a minute, we’re gonna get killed here. You guys are gonna have to take pay cuts.’ And the players are saying, ‘Wait a minute, that’s not my problem. That’s your problem. You’ve got to figure out how to make money. You told me you were gonna pay this much money to play baseball.’ I haven’t done that to any of my employees either. I haven’t laid off any of my employees. Nobody at work has taken a pay cut at the UFC and we’re in the same boat that everybody else is in, yet I’m running my business and I haven’t cut anybody’s money. I haven’t asked one fighter to take anything less. It’s the complete opposite, they’re asking for more money and the way that I look at it, that’s my problem. I need to figure that out.”
There is no word yet as to when fans are going to be allowed to attend UFC events or other live attractions.