UFC President Dana White announced that UFC 261 will take place next month with no capacity limits for audience members amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a Monday video declaring that UFC is “back,” White said the fight will take place on April 24 in Jacksonville, Fla., at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena at full capacity. The president said the event could bring 15,000 fans.
White did not confirm in the video whether additional safety precautions, like COVID-19 testing or face mask requirements, would be implemented at the event.
Florida officials are continuing to encourage residents to “avoid congregating in groups larger than 10.”
The event will mark the first time that UFC will hold a fight in front of North American fans since March 2020, according to The Associated Press. Its events in the United States have not hosted an audience. They have held events that included a few thousand spectators at multiple events in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.
White vowed last year that he would not hold events with socially distanced, reduced-capacity crowds in the U.S., the AP noted.
Florida reported 3,699 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, according to a dashboard from The New York Times. The state, like regions across the country, has seen a sharp drop in cases since its peak in early January.