Combining sport and pageantry, Pride.33: The Second Coming, staged on February 24 at Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center, was a much-anticipated return engagement for this Japan-based brand of mixed martial arts competition. PRG provided a full package of production services, including audio, lighting and rigging, scenic, video, and supervisory labor for the event, which also was televised live on pay-per-view in the US and Japan.

"Mixed martial arts, with top fighters from wrestling, karate, judo, kickboxing, and other combative sports, is the fastest-growing form of fighting in the United States, and the Pride events are a total entertainment experience," explains Paul Kilpatrick, who coordinated the project for PRG. Each of the nine bouts in Pride.33 was served up with special lighting effects, rock-the-room sound, introductory videos about each fighter, and continuing spectacle.

PRG built the three-level, 80'-wide stage with custom-fabricated scenery where fighters made their first appearance at one end of the arena, as well as a raised ramp connecting the stage to the fight ring. PRG provided three 18,000-lumen video projectors for image magnification (IMAG) projecting onto a Kabuki curtain at the front of the stage and rear projection screens at both ends of the arena. In addition, the company supplied all of the switching equipment to interface with the television cameras. They worked closely with the Thomas & Mack Center crew to display the images onto the house JumboTron® system. PRG also supplied lighting and audio equipment.

Kilpatrick served as PRG's primary liaison with the Japan-based client, Dream Stage Entertainment. He and his PRG team met with the event's producers and designers; provided the production with a single, coordinated proposal; pulled together necessary services and equipment from appropriate PRG locations; and supervised the production from load-in through load-out.

"We had worked with Dream Stage Entertainment on their first visit to Las Vegas, the Pride. 32 event in October," recalls Kilpatrick. "They were comfortable letting us put it all together for them, so they could use their time doing what they do best - putting on a great show."