For all its history, all its prestige, and all its entertainment, there is one thing New York doesn’t have: the fastest growing combat sport in the world. A recent study, commissioned by the UFC and outlined by HR&A Advisors, Inc. revealed just how much the state is losing with an outdated law banning mixed martial arts.
The legalization of MMA events in New York State could generate approximately $67 million in annual spending and support 525 jobs from approximately 70 events of different sizes across the state, according to the six-page report. Figures were drawn from Ticketmaster sales in Ohio, New Jersey, California, and Canada.
HR&A analyzed 11 UFC events from 2008 to 2014, finding out-of-state attendance ranged from 66-88 percent. Eighty-seven percent of attendees for last summer’s UFC 162, headlined by an Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman title bout, were visiting Las Vegas; an additional nine percent were international visitors.
Various bills to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts have been shot down, though three are to be introduced this spring. It is the only state still adhering to the 17-year-old statute.
A bill introduced last December establishes the New York Mixed Martial Arts Injury Compensation Fund and created protocols, such as taxing an event’s gross income and penalizing rule violators. A similar bill given to the New York State Assembly last May was rejected.
Last January, UFC Senior Executive Vice-President Ike Lawrence Epstein highlighted a study that projected $135 million in economic activity in New York from professional MMA. “We hear elected officials across New York advocating for economic development and jobs. UFC and other MMA promoters are ready to provide some of that economic development and tourism that leads to jobs in New York,” Epstein said at an event in support of MMA legislation.
Stayed tuned to Scifighting.com as the New York State Assembly decides on MMA’s future in the Big Apple and other areas in the state!