The highly anticipated UFC 249 is set to take place in Jacksonville, Florida on May 9. UFC released the location last night via a press release and the fights will take place Veterans Memorial Arena.
The May 9th event is followed by events on May 13 and May 16 at the same venue. The fight will be overseen by the Florida State Athletic Commission. All the events taking place in this arena will be closed off to the public.
UFC 249 was scheduled to take place last weekend at the Tachi Palace Resorts and Casino situated in Lemoore, California. The resort was a 40-minutes ride from Fresno. However, Dana White had to postpone the plan after the top brass at ESPN and Disney told him to stand down. There was also some political pressure from California gov. Gavin Newsom’s office.
However, this time around Dana White has political support and also the support of their broadcast partner ESPN.
“Sports play an important role in people’s lives and can bring moments of escape in challenging times. We look forward to bringing UFC to fans again.” ESPN said.
“The UFC organization is a renowned entertainment brand that’s presented a safe and sensible plan to use this Jacksonville location, and we are thrilled to have our city highlighted nationally on ESPN and ESPN+.” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said.
Dana White: UFC will follow all the rules and guidelines for social distancing and screening
In a statement released last night, UFC president Dana White said that the organization will follow full protocol and guidelines for social distancing and screening. He also thanked Jacksonville governor and Florida State Athletic Commission for their support.
“I can’t wait to deliver some great fights for the fans,” Dana White said. “I want to give a big thanks to Mayor Curry, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and Florida State Boxing Commission executive director Patrick Cunningham for getting this thing done and giving us a venue to put on these incredible cards, as well as our media partners including ESPN and ESPN+, for bringing it to fans. My team is ready to go, and the fighters are excited to get back in there with these back-to-back events.”
“We’re gonna follow all the rules and guidelines for social distancing, screening, the list goes on and on,” White said. “We have a whole comprehensive plan. We have a 30-page plan that we submitted to the governor of Nevada (where UFC is headquartered) on not just how we’re gonna run the sport but run our office when things get back to normal. Health and safety is something that we think about all the time, every week, coronavirus, no coronavirus. It’s a big deal to us.
“Obviously I’ve been out in front of this thing talking about finding solutions. We’re gonna do everything we can. We’re gonna spend a lot of money to make sure that people are safe.” (H/T – UFC.com)
UFC 249 will be headlined by Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson.