The UFC has three Canadian dates panned for 2020, forty-two shows overall, revealed senior exec David Shaw ahead of UFC Vancouver.
Vancouver, BC — As the UFC’s international footprint continues to expand, it remains committed to Canada, and a schedule that includes three events a year. That’s the message UFC Senior Vice President, International and Content David Shaw delivered Thursday, to kick off the UFC Vancouver media day.
With Cageside Press and other publications crowding around, Shaw fielded a barrage of questions, most commonly about where in Canada the promotion might visit next.
Montreal, of course, is a distinct possibility, frankly overdue for a visit. “Montreal’s on the radar every single year,” Shaw said Thursday. The struggle, said Shaw, is to find weekends where the NHL is not in play. “Love to get back to Montreal. It’s got nothing to do with the scuttlebutt recently of GSP vs. Khabib,” he added. “This is us every year, trying to get back at the right time of year.”
Shaw has long contended that the tendency of Canadians to head off for summer vacation complicates the situation, and he returned to that theme on Saturday. Vancouver, he suggested, was heading toward a sellout, however. The timing was right, perhaps – end of the summer, but prior to hockey season.
Toronto will likely be back on the calendar for 2020 as well. And “maybe we’re back in the Maritimes, Atlantic Canada.” Winnipeg was a name Shaw brought up as well. “Getting back to sort of central Canada, whether it’s Saskatchewan or Manitoba, we’re not sure yet.”
“We want to make sure we are delivering quality events across the country, and we’re going to continue to have three total events in Canada,” Shaw promised. That has been the case the past several years.
When it comes to choosing destinations, he said, you need the right arena, and the ability to draw from surrounding areas. Asked by Cageside Press if any new areas were being considered, Shaw revealed that there were, in fact, “a few,” although it was “probably a bit premature to talk about those publicly. We’ve tested out in Canada, since I guess we started in 2008 with events in Canada, a variety of different cities. And most have worked. Most if not all have worked.”
“Now, we’re probably at the point where we’re getting back to cities that we know we can work well with, that can draw from surrounding areas.” That said, “there definitely are three or four other cities that we’re considering, but nothing we can share publicly yet.”
As the number of international events grows, with China and Russia now in play, it would seem something will have to give — either one area gets fewer shows, or the overall number of shows increases. While Canada is getting the same number of events, the number of UFC cards will not increase in 2020.
“We would generally stay with the same number of shows overall,” said Shaw. “We’re going to head into 2020 with 42 events on the schedule, with 12 PPVs on the schedule. So the distribution would be pretty similar to what it is now.” In terms of overall shows, that’s the same number as 2019.
Watch the full press scrum with UFC Senior VP, International and Content David Shaw from the UFC Vancouver media day above!