13 Mar 2009 14:15:00 PM
This is part two of my talk for this SportsIllustrated.com article with New York State Assemblyman Bob Reilly. If you missed it, you can read part one here. Once again, I’d like to thank Mr. Reilly for talking with me and explaining his position. You should also check out the SI article for some rebuttal comments from the UFC’s Marc Ratner.
You say you think MMA would be financially harmful to the state. How would it harm New York to allow the sport and the UFC to hold events there?
You know, I got the study the UFC did, and based on their studies, they use Buffalo, but I use Albany since they’re similar cities, we have an arena here in Albany that seats about 19,000. They would say they would bring in about $4 million in the live gate here. They say the tax revenue would add about half a million to the local economy. And I say, yes, but at the same time three and a half million would head back to Vegas.
And here’s where I get a little heady, because just about every casino in this country is surrounded by poverty. If you go out to Turning Stone in our state, where the people who run it say it’s the only successful economic development we have, but in every case, whether it’s Turning Stone or Atlantic City or Las Vegas, these are sumptuous palaces surrounded by poverty. And that’s who runs the UFC is these Las Vegas casino owners. So if they come here the same thing would happen. You can’t take three and a half million bucks out of the economy and expect it to work. We made the mistake already of thinking that gambling will save us from this economic recession, but let’s not add to it and think this is the savior.Read More DIGG THIS