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22-11-2017, 13:32   #1
Paully D
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Travelling to America for a UFC Event - Advice, Tips, Costs etc

After travelling around Europe numerous times for events and constantly talking about doing an event in the States but never getting around to it (in fact I might have even created a similar thread a couple of years ago IIRC), I've decided that I'm going to stop talking and finally put the plan into action in 2018.

I know a lot of you have been across to America for an event, so was hoping to get some advice or hints from you. It's also a topic that comes up from time to time on various threads so it might be no harm to have this thread as a "one stop shop" for anyone thinking of making the pilgrimage.

Myself, I'm looking at the big New York card which appears to be going to be a November tradition. It probably works out a little better in terms of costs with it being east coast and outside of the peak travel season too?

Just wondering if any of you would mind sharing your experience(s) of travelling over and a breakdown of what it cost? Also any hints or advice you may have too.
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22-11-2017, 13:52   #2
dashoonage
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Yo!

ive done MSG twice

Time A

Flights and hotel on expedia. Friday from shannon into newark, Sunday from newark to Shannon. 2 nights in hotel Metro spitting distance from MSG 870 euro
Get the train from newark to penn 13 dollars each way

Time B
Flights and hotel on expedia. Thursday from shannon into newark, Monday from newark to Shannon. 2 nights in hotel Millenium Time Square 1500 euro

As you can see a considerable difference in price. But i went all out and treated myself the second time as it was my only weekend all year id done anything for myself. Also the hotel location is a major factor.

You will do it cheaper though depending on where you stay. Dont be afraid to stay in Brooklyn or Jesery and get the train in.

I didnt drink much over there. Only in MSG which is expensive.

Eating i found very reasonable, But i wasnt eating in fancy restaurants. You will get a huge salad and a water in Chopt for 10dollars, My brekkie was 8 dollars in a corner cafe for a 3 egg ommlet and a coffee, you dont need to spend 50 dollars on a meal over there like.

any questions fire away man.

incidentally if there was a boards crew interested in next year i could be interested

P.S i love NYC though...im flying out again next thursday
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22-11-2017, 15:04   #3
D.Q
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Haha was literally just thinking of starting to plan/save for the MSG card next year. Have never been to NY so would like to incorporate a holiday and ufc show into the same break from work!
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22-11-2017, 18:16   #4
 
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If you pick the right city at the right time you can get silly cheap flights.
Check out airlines like wowair for special offers , they fly to about a dozen us cities now including some of the major ones the UFC have events in.

Try hopper as well it lets you find cheap flights. Skyscanner and Google flights are decent too.

Hotel wise in Vegas you can save a fortune by staying on the old strip in the older casino hotels and still have a great experience.

In other cities Airbnb might be a way to make huge savings.
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22-11-2017, 21:13   #5
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For flights add Kayak into the mix also - but I would highly recommend with all of those services for flights that you just use them to find the cheap flights and dates that suit and then go and book them directly with the airlines. Otherwise you are booking through a travel agent and it can be a disaster sometimes depending on who its with. The flight will be the same price directly with the airline once you know the date and time etc and should you need to change your flight or anything later on then you can do so directly through the airline which is much easier.
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22-11-2017, 22:25   #6
thewheel2.0
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I went to the MSG McGregor card, it was my first UFC event. I reckon I'm a decent bargain hunter so hope these tips help.

General:
If you have decided you are definitely going, buy flights and hotels ahead of time and then get the tickets when they go on sale. It makes everything cheaper. If you don't get tickets well then you are still going to New York at least

We booked flights and accommodation in late August when the flights were their cheapest ever. Nobody books holidays at that time of year...

Fight Club: €79
UFC Fight Club Pre Sale was a huge help for buying the right ticket for the first MSG card. I was determined to get a $600 tier ticket and got really nice pair. On popular cards the public sales can be a nightmare.

Ticketmaster tips
If you are going over for a popular card, use multiple devices for Ticketmaster. Me and my girlfriend had 4 devices on the go, all searching Ticketmaster as the pre sale code can be used with the same account on multiple devices. Only 2 of the 4 devices we had on the go got tickets:
  • She got tickets offered on the long end of MSG's oval.
  • My computer got tickets on the short end of the oval making the seats closer to the cage (we took those, but it was hairy enough trying to decide over text which tickets were closer)

Hotels: €680
@dashoonage you went all out with the hotels
There are much cheaper (but still decent) options in NYC.
  • I got a 4 night stay in a 3 star hotel on 39th St for €680.
  • Don't make the mistake many people do and go for the absolute cheapest as you will end up in a dump like Hotel Pennsylvania.
  • We went for a cool hotel called Pod39, small rooms but funky.

Flights: €438 per person
We got flights for two people return Shannon-JFK for €876. Aer Lingus and pre-clearance was great.

Transport: Airport-NYC connection €7 each way per person
New York is the premier walking city. Don't spend your time in taxis and the subway. You will discover loads in New York by walking.
Only transport we took was:
The AirTrain-Subway link to arrive a few mins walk away from our hotel. So impressive, and cheap too.
We took the Subway once to get to a dinner reservation fast.

Travel Insurance: €54
I hated buying this but my missus wouldn't relax until twas bought. I think they even cover tickets to the UFC event if you miss it some how like a missed flight.

Food:
In true New York style we ate at both ends of the price bracket. You can eat in the student area for dirt cheap (we found a place that did a huge slice of Pizza for $1). We also ate at once of the nicer restaurants in New York and we were surprised at how not-insane the upper end pricing was.

Visa/ESTA: €13
No visa needed for Irish citizens, just an ESTA. Do it online at this link for about €13: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

Last edited by thewheel2.0; 22-11-2017 at 22:30.
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22-11-2017, 22:34   #7
dashoonage
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I did. the first time i didnt book until i got the tickets and thought i did well for a half decent one beside msg, prices include flights like

The second time ya i splashed out
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22-11-2017, 23:44   #8
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On the whole ESTA thing - your ESTA is valid for 2 years from when you get it so you dont need to get a new one each time. Also when you do pre clearance in Dublin airport you can go to the machines on the right if you have an ESTA that you previously have entered on.
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22-11-2017, 23:50   #9
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Been to multiple UFC events now and most people are not aware that you can actually pickup a small little commentary radio device for about $20 and it lets you tune into the commentary that is live during the fight. You can use the same device at multiple events as well. You basically just tune into the radio frequency they are on for that specific event.

Have not experienced any delay in the fight and it has enhanced my live viewing experience. For those cautious about being anti social i just keep it on one ear Depends how much you are into it!

Oh if you are in Vegas get yourself a Frozen Margarita plastic drink container (Gift shop for about $3) and basically anywhere you go (Live events / casinos / shops) pretty much let you in no problem. For 3 Vegas fight cards now i have brought in one of them full of southern comfort (those bad boys hold up to 750ml - 1l) save yourself a fortune!
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23-11-2017, 07:04   #10
dashoonage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axwell View Post
On the whole ESTA thing - your ESTA is valid for 2 years from when you get it so you dont need to get a new one each time. Also when you do pre clearance in Dublin airport you can go to the machines on the right if you have an ESTA that you previously have entered on.
yes

unless you change your passport. Oh and your passport cannot expire within the next 6 months when travelling
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23-11-2017, 16:50   #11
D.Q
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All great tips lads cheers! Can you remember when they announced that they would be doing the event in MSG?
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23-11-2017, 16:52   #12
dashoonage
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All great tips lads cheers! Can you remember when they announced that they would be doing the event in MSG?
i think it leaked out early enough this year that 4th Nov was the date.
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30-11-2017, 12:35   #13
DrPhilG
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Plan ahead. I saved a fortune for UFC 100 in Vegas by booking hotels way in advance. For a July Vegas or New York November date you're always going to have a rough idea of the date. For me it was down to 2 dates, July 4th itself, or July 11th. So I booked the Mandalay Bay and the MGM for both dates. 4 reservations, and all 4 took a 1 night refundable deposit, but the prices were dirt cheap. Once the fight was confirmed for the Mandalay Bay on July 11th the prices bounced way up and I just cancelled the 3 I didn't need and got the deposit refunded.

Be prepared for a horrific log jam for tickets on release day, and don't expect to get the cheap ones. Be realistic and set an upper limit for the value you're prepared to go for. For 205 in NYC I didn't waste my time tryinfg for the bottom 3 tiers of ticket prices, just bit the bullet and went after the $500ish seats. A scandalous amount of money to spend but the alternative was to bust your ass along with thousands of others (including touts) chasing the cheap seats.

So far I've done Vegas for UFC 100, 116 and 189 and New York for UFC 205. In hindsight I've been insanely lucky. Not only the immense Irish atmosphere for 189 and 205, but the fights at 100 and 116 were phenomenal.
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30-11-2017, 12:36   #14
DrPhilG
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Originally Posted by MarkJD View Post
Been to multiple UFC events now and most people are not aware that you can actually pickup a small little commentary radio device for about $20 and it lets you tune into the commentary that is live during the fight. You can use the same device at multiple events as well. You basically just tune into the radio frequency they are on for that specific event.
I don't think these are available anymore. Didn't have them at 189 or 205 as far as I remember, and I would have looked for them.
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30-11-2017, 13:25   #15
D.Q
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Plan ahead. I saved a fortune for UFC 100 in Vegas by booking hotels way in advance.

Be prepared for a horrific log jam for tickets on release day, and don't expect to get the cheap ones. Be realistic and set an upper limit for the value you're prepared to go for. For 205 in NYC I didn't waste my time tryinfg for the bottom 3 tiers of ticket prices, just bit the bullet and went after the $500ish seats. A scandalous amount of money to spend but the alternative was to bust your ass along with thousands of others (including touts) chasing the cheap seats.
Would you get the 500 dollar tickets easy enough?

Gonna try book a refundable hotel around MSG for early november. Good shout
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