5 Things You Might Not Know About The SSE Hydro

By Brian Knapp Jul 12, 2017


The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Sunday returns to The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, and will do so with a decidedly European flavor.

SBG Ireland export Gunnar Nelson collides with Santiago Ponzinibbio in a UFC Fight Night 113 main event showcasing two of the organization’s top young welterweights. Meanwhile, undefeated Team Alpha Male prospect Cynthia Calvillo takes on hometown hero Joanne Calderwood in a pivotal co-headliner at 115 pounds. The rest of the six-fight main draw features a lightweight tilt matching Steven Ray with Paul Felder, a middleweight encounter pitting Jack Marshman against Ryan Janes, a light heavyweight affair pairing Paul Craig with Khalil Rountree and a heavyweight battle slotting James Mulheron opposite Justin Willis.

In advance of UFC Fight Night “Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio,” here are five things you might not know about The SSE Hydro:

1. It has become one of the busiest arenas in the world.


The SSE Hydro ranked eighth globally in concert and special event ticket sales among venues in 2016, according to Pollstar. The arena sold 751,487 tickets during the year, trailing only the O2 Arena in London (1,590,093), Madison Square Garden in New York (1,053,675), AccorHotels Arena in Paris (873,906), Manchester Arena in Manchester, England (851,785), Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City (833,926), Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany (823,211) and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York (757,141).

2. It lights up the night.


Translucent cushions installed on the façade while construction was being completed in 2013 give the arena its signature aqua glow when the sun goes down in Scotland.

3. The Ultimate Fighting Championship has already paid the arena a visit.


More than 10,000 fans packed into The SSE Hydro when it hosted the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion for the first time on July 18, 2015. Michael Bisping carried the torch for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as he took a split decision -- 47-48, 49-46, 48-47 -- from Thales Leites in the UFC Fight Night 72 main event. “The Count” went on capture the middleweight crown less than a year later.

4. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member received the honor of opening the venue.


Rod Stewart christened the arena with his “Live the Life Tour” in 2013, holding concerts across four nights: Sept. 30, Oct. 2, Oct. 4 and Oct. 5. He was followed by Bruno Mars (Oct. 6), Jessie J (Oct. 22), Depeche Mode (Nov. 11), Arctic Monkeys (Nov. 21), Nickelback (Nov. 26) and Simple Minds (Nov. 27).

5. It was built by capable hands.


The British architecture firm Foster + Partners was responsible for erecting the SSE Arena. Its other notable projects include London City Hall, Hearst Tower in New York, Hong Kong International Airport and the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut.

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