The UFC is welcoming fans back to their events soon, but not without plenty of precautions.
Beginning on Jan. 16, three events are set to take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi in the span of seven days, with the location shifting from Flash Forum (where the UFC’s previous Fight Island shows were hosted) to Etihad Arena. It was announced earlier this week that a limited number of spectators will be in attendance, which is the first time that non-essential personnel have been permitted to attend a UFC event since the outbreak of COVID-19 this past March.
The week begins with UFC Fight Island 7 this coming Saturday headlined by former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar, then Michael Chiesa fights Neil Magny in the Jan. 20 main event of UFC Fight Island 8, and the trip concludes on Jan. 23 with the UFC 257 pay-per-view featuring a highly-anticipated rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
For fans, a number of added rules have been announced on the arena’s website and all will be expected to observe strict COVID-19 safety measures.
Here are the official conditions:
1. Upon arriving to the venue entrance, all spectators will undergo a check of their valid 48-hour PCR test, thermal scanning and ticket checks. Spectators will have to present the AlHosn App OR a medical center report for the valid 48-Hour PCR test.
2. Any spectator who shows signs of high fever or does not have a valid 48-hour PCR COVID-19 test will be denied entry with no refunds to their ticket.
3. Wearing a face mask is always mandatory within the venue, even when seated.
4. Adhere to social distancing guidelines in and around the venue.
5. Contactless payments are required.
6. Food and non-alcoholic beverages can be ordered from your seat and through hawkers or via physical concessions at the venue.
7. Alcohol will be available through hawkers and physical concessions at the venue.
8. Sanitisation of the venue will take place prior to the event.
9. Sanitizers are placed around the venue.
Refusal to abide by these conditions will result in a denial of entry to the events.
Etihad Arena has maximum capacity of over 18,000, but the UFC is expecting to have closer to 2,000 fans in attendance for UFC 257, according to a statement provided to TSN. A glance at the Etihad Arena ticket sales site indicates that individual tickets are no longer available for UFC 257. There does appear to be seating available for UFC Fight Island 7 and UFC Fight Island 8.
Other COVID-19 safety precautions are as follows:
To comply with Covid-19 government restrictions, no bags or strollers are permitted at the venue.
Fans should arrive 60 minutes before showtime to allow extra time for temperature and health checks.
All tickets should be downloaded for digital scanning upon entry.
Stay two meters apart from those outside your group at all times.
No children under the age of 12 will be permitted to attend.
Fans are advised to queue safely by standing on designated stickers indicating recommended distance between persons.