The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization continued its expansion into new Canadian markets today,officially announcing its first‐ever event in Winnipeg, Manitoba with UFC 161. The event will take place on June 15, 2013, at the MTS Centre, a 15,000-seat venue that is home to the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets.
“Canadians love their MMA and we love bringing it to them,” said UFC President Dana White. “There are many Canadian cities on our radar and we hope to visit as many as possible. We’re excited to make Winnipeg happen and can’t wait to bring a stacked card to the MTS Centre.”
The Winnipeg event is part of the UFC’s ongoing Canadian commitment, which will see three global events taking place in Canada each year between 2012-2014. The UFC visits Montreal on March 16 with UFC 158: ST.PIERRE vs. DIAZ while it will also visit Toronto this coming September. Winnipeg now becomes the fifth Canadian city to host a UFC event as the organization has also hosted events in Calgary and Vancouver.
“We’re proud to add Winnipeg to our list of Canadian UFC cities,” said Tom Wright, UFC Director of Operations for Canada, Australia and New Zealand. “The city has an impressive résumé in terms of teams including the Jets and Bombers as well as major events such as the Grey Cup and Pan Am Games. We can’t wait for Winnipeg to experience the UFC.”
Tickets for UFC 161 will go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 12. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers on Thursday, April 11. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com. Also, UFCmembers will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event on Wednesday, April 10 via the website ufcfightclub.com. The full UFC 161 fight card, along with ticket information, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Since 2008, the UFC has hosted 11 Canadian events (not including UFC 158 slated for March 16) with each experiencing tremendous success. Collectively, the events have seen more than 200,000 fans in attendance and millions worldwide watching on Pay-Per-View. In addition, the four host cities to date – Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto – have had a cumulative gross gate of almost $50M and millions more in direct economic impact.