Despite reports otherwise, Tom Atencio claims all is well with "Day of Reckoning" ticket sales. Since Atencio is as reliable as a 70 year old penis, I decided to put on my Mythbusters costume and get to the bottom of this.
Ticket sales for Affliction's second event "Day of Reckoning" are going well.
My first stop on solving this myth was to do some searches on Ticketmaster to see what types of seats were still available for "Day of Reckoning".
1. (10) $1K tickets in Section 101, Row 4, Seats 7-16
2. (10) $445 tickets in Section 208, Row L, Seats 1-10
3. (10) $100 tickets in Section 409, Row H, Seats 1-10
4. (10) $50 tickets in Section 441, Row N, Seats 1-10
It's never a good sign when you can find ten seats together two weeks before an event. The seat numbers also give me pause. Ticketmaster's system returns seat numbers from lowest to highest. No one is buying these things or else you wouldn't be seeing 1-10 in the results.
To me this is more than enough information to make the case for slow sales, but I decided to take it a step further and check out StubHub Listings and Ebay Completed Sales. Ebay and StubHub give good indications of ticket sales because if lots of tickets are sold, lots of resales will show up. I've also included UFC 94 to put the information into context.
Day of Reckoning - 49
UFC 94 - 108
Ebay Completed Sales
Day of Reckoning - 9
UFC 94 - 47
The Ebay Completed Sales is the dagger for me. Less than two weeks away and only nine completed sales. I also want to mention that many of the active listings on Ebay and StubHub for "Day of Reckoning" are at or below face value.
BUSTED! Ticket sales for "Day of Reckoning" are extremely slow. I did not find one point of contrasting data. You can either trust the figures or an unreliable penis.
I do not think there is one answer for why this is happening. In the current marketplace, very few things are selling. Affliction seems to be stuck on competing with the UFC, which might explain the insane ticket prices. The UFC can get away with selling $1,000 tickets, but Affliction has no business shooting this high. Most UFC events are held in Las Vegas, where there is a lot more wealth than Anaheim, CA (Day of Reckoning's site). To give you a comparison, on February 7, UFC Fight Night will be in Tampa, FL. The highest priced tickets for the show are $250. Affliction missed their price point.
The price of tickets is directly related to the amount of money Affliction spends on salaries. It is always a welcome sight to see fighters making more money, because they deserve every cent, but when it comes at the expense of pricing out your fan base, it's borderline idiotic. There is no reason tickets in section 409 (the highest in the building) should be going for $100 each. Those are the seats normal fans should occupy and normal fans are not shelling out $100, plus $16.50 in Ticketmaster fees, for an event like "Day of Reckoning".
Personally, I do not see Affliction surviving much longer with the current mindset. Their Chief Operating Officer Michael Cohen is living in a fantasy world where the MMA media thinks "Day of Reckoning" is "destined to be the MMA event of the century". He's one of their top executives and he's totally stuck on dethroning the UFC, instead of putting on profitable shows. Until this changes, Affliction will lose money and continue down the path towards extinction.