Ticket holders learn lesson from cage fight mess | News
NORTH MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- A family who spent $275 for tickets and a table at a cancelled Muskegon cage fighting event say they have learned a lesson about such events.
Saturday night's show at the Holiday Inn in downtown Muskegon was the first time Kurt Carpenter had been to a cage fighting show. But instead of watching the 33 billed matches, Carpenter says it was shut down after just three.
"I got to the cage and they had shut it down because of overcrowding," says Carpenter.
Members of Carpenter's family and several friends each spent $35 to attend the fights, but they say the hotel manager ended the event because too many people were there.
"It was wall to wall people," says Sue Armstrong, Carpenter's mother.
Holiday Inn manager Gamal Elkhouly said by phone ending the show was the right decision. He claims the promoter sold too many tickets and that fire exits were blocked by tables and chairs.
Armstrong blames promoter Cody Colson of Takedown Mixed Martial Arts for sloppy planning.
In a phone interview, Colson told WZZM 13 News he used "typical over-sale tactics." He says he sold four percent more tickets than the capacity of the hotel ballroom because he planned on no-shows and spectators who would not stay until the end of the event.
Colson blames a drunk spectator who he claims pushed the hotel manager, leading to the event's abrupt end.
Colson says ticket sales did not cover all of his expenses, so he will not be able to offer refunds.
"It is discouraging," says Armstrong, "not just for my son but for all the fighters that put so much time and effort into this."
"I am considering it a loss and lesson learned," says Carpenter.
Spectators are encouraged to hold on to tickets and wrist bands. Colson promises free admission to another event in town sometime next month.