The notion that the UFC is in jeopardy because Station Casinos is struggling with its debt has been making the rounds on the web. Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta own the UFC and have a big stake in the Las Vegas-based gaming company.
SportsByBrooks made the suggestion that because the Fertittas' casino company is in a huge hole of debt, the way to get out may be to sell the UFC. SBB took it a step further by saying that new ownership may not like Dana White's brash style and he could be "fighting for his job".
We haven't touched this Station Casinos financial situation story to this point but the SBB blog entry begged for a little additional insight. Cage Writer spoke with Arnold Knightly, one of the business reporters from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He didn't exactly back the story that the picture is grimm.
It's an odd situation because the bad economy has put Station Casinos behind the eight-ball but its also saving the company from being slammed by the banks it owes money to. The company increased its debt load last year when it went private and that combined with opening of a new $662 million property Aliante Station, has put it in position where it just missed huge February payment. It's unrealistic to think that bank is going to force the hands of all its struggling partners. They also can't ask Stations to sell off land holdings or a casino like the Palace Station when there are no legit buyers in the market. The same goes for the UFC. Knightly points out that saying the UFC is worth $1 billion is fine but getting that much in this market is unlikely.
Click to hear business reporter Arnold Knightly talk about Station Casinos and the UFC:
The other misnomer is that the Fertittas are the majority owners of Stations. Between Lorenzo, Frank III and their sister Delise, they own only 25% of the company. It's also important to note that the "bankrupt" Fertitta Brothers were each listed as billionaires recently by Fortune and along with their sister made a combined $493 million dollars when the company went private last year. A company reorganizing and actually going bankrupt are two different things.