It's finally official. The UFC is coming to Vancouver, with UFC 115 set for GM Place on June 12.
The city of Vancouver, which the UFC had been waiting on to sort out logistical details such as insurance, is now on board, according to a UFC news release issued late Thursday.
“Vancouver fans will be thrilled that the UFC is coming here,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in the statement. “We've worked hard to bring it to Vancouver and I want to thank UFC and Canucks Sports and Entertainment for making the event possible.
“Vancouver has some of the most passionate UFC fans in the world, and I have no doubt that General Motors Place will be packed on June 12th.”
On Thursday afternoon, city spokeswoman Wendy Stewart said the deal was not yet done although she was “very optimistic.”
But UFC president White reiterated to The Canadian Press that the show was a go, thanking the mayor for his efforts in getting the job done.
“Our Canadian fans are among the most loyal and enthusiastic in the world, and we are thrilled to bring the UFC to Vancouver,” White said in the UFC release. “We want to thank Mayor Gregor Robertson and our partners at Canucks Sports and Entertainment for helping to make UFC 115 become the first UFC event in British Columbia.”
The MMA juggernaut applied pressure this week, giving the city 24 hours to sort out the outstanding issues — with a threat of moving the show to Cincinnati hanging.
The Vancouver Athletic Commission met Tuesday to hammer out a solution.
Vancouver will be the second Canadian city to stage a UFC show.
“We are pleased to be the host venue for this first ever UFC event in Vancouver,” said Harvey Jones, vice-president and general manager, arena operations, Canucks Sports and Entertainment. “We know the UFC is very popular in Canada and that UFC 115 will be an incredible event for the city, the venue, and all the sports fans here.”
The UFC has already held two cards in Montreal — UFC 83 and 97 — and plans a third — UFC 113 — next month.
In December, Vancouver city councillors voted six to three to approve a two-year trial period for MMA, opening the door for a UFC show that could generate millions for the local economy.
But under the pilot program, promoters must ensure the city can't be held liable for damages.