Dana White’s plan to run shows out of the UFC’s Las Vegas-based APEX facility is alive once again as the UFC president told Variety Tuesday night that they will begin running events there starting in May.
“We built the APEX facility next door just in time to save the day from this pandemic. Live fights will be produced out of there starting next month and for the foreseeable future,” he said in an email statement to the entertainment publication.
The reason that could happen is an expectation that Nevada will ease their non-essential business restrictions that extend through April 30th which would allow the company to run shows in front of empty seats. The state did not respond to Variety’s request for comment.
The news comes on the same day White told ESPN that he is planning on running a pay-per-view on Saturday, May 9th, at an yet-to-be-disclosed location, and the day after news broke that Florida has deemed sports organizations as essential businesses, opening up the door for UFC to potentially run an empty arena show there if they choose. How this would affect the mysterious “Fight Island”, if at all, is unclear.
White has had to cancel four shows thus far due to the coronavirus pandemic, including this Saturday’s UFC 249 as California governor Gavin Newsom reportedly intervened with Disney executives on not running a show on tribal land in Lemoore, CA. White said last Thursday that he had another state, governor, and commission on board even if Lemoore fell through, but was told not to move forward.
On Tuesday, White was named by President Donald Trump as one of the sports figureheads involved in a long list of business executives tasked with how to restart the country’s economy amid the pandemic.