It’s a busy day for the UFC’s PR staff, as they sent out one release officially announcing the December 10 “UFC Fight for the Troops” event in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and another to alert the state of New York to just how much money they’re losing by not legalizing MMA.
The “Fight for the Troops” card will air live on Spike TV and is headlined by Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida, and also includes Mike Swick-Jonathan Goulet and Frankie Edgar-Matt Wiman. From the press release:
The special live UFC fight card will raise funds to build a hospital for traumatic brain injuries for the brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces. Thousands of soldiers from nearby Fort Bragg, the proud home of the U.S. Airborne and Special Operations Forces, will be in attendance. More information about the facility, including ways to donate, can be found online at http://www.fallenheroesfund.org or by calling 1-800-340-HERO
The fight card also showcases five current UFC fighters who are all U.S. military veterans, including Luigi Fioravanti, Tim Credeur, Dale Hartt, Brandon Wolff, and Steve Bruno. An additional fight will be added to the main event and announced at a later date.
The day’s other UFC release serves as a not-so-subtle reminder to New York that they’re missing out on millions of dollars by keeping MMA away from their state. And it’s not just New York City that the UFC has their eye on.
According to the UFC’s press release, a study conducted by HR&A Advisors (which you can download here) concluded that New York City stands to gain $11.5 million in “net new” economic spending, and the city of Buffalo would see $5.2 million.
“At a time when the New York economy is in crisis, it would be a mistake for the state to miss out on the considerable revenue that our events would generate. UFC®’s popularity is surging, our fan base is expanding, and our presence is growing. We are eager to bring both the excitement of our new sport as well as its major tax and tourist revenue to New York State,” said Marc Ratner, UFC® Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs. “We look forward to being able to meet the tremendous demand that exists for our events in upstate New York as well as New York City.”
In other words, they’re spelling out what everyone already knows: big UFC events in your city mean big money, and everyone likes money. There’s also some information about local job creation, tourism, and tax revenue. For instance, if NYC would like an extra $400,000 in tax revenue, this study estimates they could make that much per event. Just in case they’re interested in that, and it sounds like the new Athletic Commission Chairwoman may very well be.
So get it together, New York. Or else keep holding underground events that generate zero tax revenue and get panned by the local Fox news station. Your call.