Construction is still going strong on Las Vegas Nevada’s new stadium, which reportedly cost $1.8 billion and is set to open in August of 2020. While the new digs are set up specifically for the arrival of the Raiders NFL football team, as well as for the UNLV Rebels, the possibilities are endless as to what kind of events can take place in the 65,000 seat stadium.
According to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) chief operations officer, Lawrence Epstein, the promotion could host big events there moving forward.
“The boxing and MMA events that have gone elsewhere … we’ve done events in Australia and Brazil and Canada that if we would have had a facility here in Las Vegas, we would have done [here],” Epstein told MMA Junkie.
“There have been events at (AT&T) Stadium (in Arlington, Texas) – big boxing events there. There’s no reason why those events wouldn’t have come to Las Vegas. I think combat sports is going to have a home in this facility.”
“The stadium events are going to be special events,” he said. “They’re going to be that event that warrants this huge crowd and the ability to sell tickets associated with 65,000-seat stadiums.”
Once T-Mobile Arena opened in 2016, it became the home to all big UFC events, which were previously held at MGM Grand Garden Arena and Mandalay Bay Events Center. But just because “Sin City” is going to get a brand new stadium, doesn’t mean UFC will switch homes again.
“We’re still going to be the vast majority of our events at the T-Mobile Arena. We love the facility. The management team is incredible. We do events around the world, and I think it’s the best arena in the world,” added Epstein, who is the vice chairman of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board.
“So we love doing events there and of course, it’s in our home town. We’re going to continue to do the vast majority of our events at the T-Mobile. But for those big, special events, we’re going to look at the (new stadium) and see what we can do there.”
Indeed, UFC has often teased a big event to be staged in Jerry Jones’ massive AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, which can easily sit over 100,000 people. While WWE has staged and event there before, UFC has yet to lock it down. But it seem the home of the Dallas Cowboys will unlikely get to host a big UFC event once Las Vegas Stadium opens up.
Of course, it’s easy to assume Conor McGregor would likely headline the first-ever UFC event in order to make it a success at the ticket counter.
This is what the stadium is expected to look like after completion (courtesy of Raiders.com).