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UFC’s Battle to Legalize MMA in NY Begins (Again) Tomorrow

(MSG: You don’t know excitement until you hear 20,000 Long Island accents howling in unison. Photo courtesy of

Though a previous UFC-led effort to legalize mixed martial arts in New York State fell apart last year, the cause is not lost. A legislative session will re-address the issue tomorrow in Albany, which could lead to MMA being placed under the regulation of the New York State Athletic Commission, and open the doors for a historic fall UFC show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. And why might the current push for NY legalization be more successful than the last one? For one thing, New York State now has an Athletic Commission chairperson who’s sympathetic to the sport. Also, the state’s economy is in the crapper and they need every dollar they can get. As ESPN writes:

[Governor David] Paterson is cutting programs and paychecks to address a $15 billion deficit in the state budget, and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered $1.4 billion in budget cuts last month. Ignoring the income MMA and the UFC could bring to the state and city would seem fiscally irresponsible.
"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," said Marc Ratner, a UFC vice president for Government and Regulatory Affairs. "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."

An independent economic impact study commissioned by the UFC showed that a UFC event would generate $11.5 million for New York City in tax and tourist revenue — which could be just the right amount of grease for the wheels to start turning. The bill (#S02858, FYI) will need to pass through New York’s House and Senate, then get a signature from Gov. Patterson. If all goes well, the UFC will hit Madison Square Garden in the fall, then Buffalo, then Albany.

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Creamy CA Roll- January 7, 2009 at 12:54 pm
@ Fuck Downstate:

Keep your tax money? You're either a complete piece of shit or an idiotic 12 year old. Tell me that line of shit the next time I hear that NYC gets $.35 for every dollar we send to Albany.

Let's take my old HS in Brooklyn as an example. When I was taking US history back in 1996, my textbook ended with the Nixon administration. Watergate hadn't even happened yet, and we were lucky if our textbooks had covers. Some of the instruments that the band used were from the 50's and fundraisers had to be held all the time. Oh yeah, and my school which was built for a max occupancy of 2,200 had 4,000 by the time I graduated.

Btw, why do you think the NY economy is in the shitter right now. Wall Street contributes 20% of the states entire tax revenue. So when the city suffers, so does the rest of the state. Fuck your nonsense
Fuck Downstate- January 6, 2009 at 10:03 pm
The UFC needs to come to Albany...........if WWE can lay the SmackDown here, why can't DW put on a show at the Times Union Center. NYC needs to join up with Jersey so us upstate residents can keep our tax money.
Th3R3al3st- January 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm
Being a MMA fan, i really don't care where it ends up. I think its great expanding across the USA. MSG, that would be pretty cool. Really IMO, one thing i'd personally love to see(but wouldn't happen) is let Buffer have the night off and let the Detroit Pistons Announcer take a crack at it. Only reason I really started watching them. haha, if you haven't heard him, check him out.. Anyways to get back on track, I know they (UFC) like expanding globally, but I rather see more shows here in the USA! Anything to help boost economy. If it doesn't least you can see some great beatings. And if anyone has anything to comment about what I said, just remember, its just an opinion....LOL
Creamy CA Roll- January 6, 2009 at 3:37 pm
Many UFC fighters arrived early to Denver to get used to the thin air, when the UFC had its' Fight Night in Broomfield, CO. They might want to do the same to get used to all of the MSG's Axe Body Spray
Old, Bald and Irish- January 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm
@ Kadumel

Yeah, I know that was outta context. Just making a point and being an ass at the same time.

I just read the report at MMAFACTS.COM and it's pretty interesting. Zuffa does make a strong argument and they have ten years of stats to back it up. Worth the read.
Hitmanbert- January 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm
Fuck New York! Bring some UFC to San Antonio Tx;)
Kadumel- January 6, 2009 at 10:57 am

Yes that would be a good idea... No one said $600 on Hot Dogs and Beer. Way to take that out of context though...
Old, Bald and Irish- January 6, 2009 at 10:55 am
@ "mayhem420"

Yeah, I wanted to go to the Newark event but it sold out fast.

It just seems to me that AC would be the perfect place for more MMA events.
Old, Bald and Irish- January 6, 2009 at 10:49 am
@ "Kadumel"

"If each one of those 15,000 people spent at least $800 (including the cost of their tickets since that is taxed) then you have over $11.5 million."

Kadumel, in todays economy, hell...even six months ago, I can't see 15,000 people droppin' $800 a piece for a UFC event. Folks might drop that much seeing Broadway shows, but I don't know about the UFC.

Let me put it this way: Do you think the average Jets/Giant fan is droppin' $800 a game? Again, maybe $200 on tickets, but even I can't consume $600 in beer and hot dogs.

Granted, hotel prices in NY are RIDICULOUS, but I think the vast majority of the crowd for a NY UFC event would be commuters and locals. that's just my gut feeling.

Frankly, I should read the report before I comment any more.
fedor a million ankles- January 6, 2009 at 10:42 am
Fuck the garden they should have their first live show in Syracuse at the DOME!
Old, Bald and Irish- January 6, 2009 at 10:38 am
@ "Criminally Negligent "

Thanks for the info! I'll check it out.
mayhem420- January 6, 2009 at 8:36 am
I dont care about $$$ for NY or any of that stuff.... I suck at math anyway.
However since I live 15mins from NY City (just over the river in NJ)
Getting an event in MSG would be a dream for me. Atlantic City is like a 3 hour drive so going to MSG would be sweet...

OBI - Dude UFC did host an event in AC... a long long long time ago...
I think the last NJ show was Rashad vs. Bisping and that was in Newark.
I went to that event and even though the card was not the best it was still a great show!

NY/NJ fans are some of the BEST around.... go to any pro Sports event around here and you will see for your self. Yes we might be loud and a litte crazy but at least we speak our minds... stink up a show and we will let you know!!!

Bloomburg is an ass and I cant stand that guy... Gov. Patterson... yea just look at that guy... does he look like someone you can trust? lol
Kadumel- January 6, 2009 at 8:26 am
@Old, Bald, and Irish

$11.5 million from tax and tourism would be an understatement in my opinion...

You have revenues from out of towners stayin in hotels, eating at local restaurants, visiting the local museums (not that fight fans like museums) etc...

Think about it, if the live gate is $3mil, that is about $200 a person if the crowd has 15,000 in attendance. (Including the comp'd tickets) If each one of those 15,000 people spent at least $800 (including the cost of their tickets since that is taxed) then you have over $11.5 million.

Not very hard to do in NYC where the average hotel's nightly stay is priced at $388 / night.
Criminally Negligent - January 6, 2009 at 8:20 am
@ Old, Bald & Irish

You can download the full report at MMAFACTS.COM it gives a break down of their methodology and the numbers.

Also, the ESPN article is incorrect about why the last NY bill failed. It didn't actually fail because legislators thought the sport was too brutal, it failed because of opposition by the UNITE HERE union which opposes the UFC because it is owned by the Fertittas who also just happen to own the biggest non-union casino chain. In other words, MMA in NY got caught up in political horse trading that had nothing to do with the merits of the sport.
Geriatric Peon- January 6, 2009 at 8:08 am
Speaking of crowds that Boo at any ground game, I wouldn't be surprised if Rogan gets fed up one of these times and knocks some drunk asshole in the front row out who is booing his beloved ground game (or put him out via choke for the irony). Honestly I am curious on what that would sound like over Joe's headset as he is doing it and if Goldberg will announce when "It's all over!"
Old, Bald and Irish- January 6, 2009 at 8:07 am
Whoa, whoa, whoa!

$11.5 million from tax and tourist revenue?

Is there anyplace that I can see that estimate breakdown 'cause I don't see how one UFC event can punch up that much cash for the city/state.

That being said, I would most certainly hop on a train and head to NYC for a UFC event.

And why hasn't Atlantic City hosted a UFC event yet?
NeWjErSeY-nEwJeRsEy- January 6, 2009 at 7:54 am
Spaghetti-Bending Assholes?
Jeffro- January 6, 2009 at 7:53 am
I dont want to share this wonderful sport with those spagetti bending assholes. If you think foreign mma fans hate us now, wait till they hear the boos coming out of Madison Square Gardens.