Hopes that recently elected governor Andrew Cuomo could speed the process of getting MMA to New York were dashed by the recent release of his 2011-2012 budget proposal.
Conspicuously absent from a host of measures that aim to close the state’s $10 billion budget deficit is language to legalize the sport.
The news drew frustration today from UFC president Dana White, who said he is “done with predictions in New York.”
“Absolutely,” White said when asked whether the exclusion was a setback. “It’s just one of those things.
“At the end of the day, do we really need New York? No. But New York should be open. We should be able to do it.”
Just three weeks prior, the promotion held a rally at storied sports venue Madison Square Garden to announce the results of a self-funded economic impact study that claimed two UFC events could generate $23 million in revenue for the Empire State.
White said feedback on the promotion’s current lobbying efforts has been “all positive.”
Clearly, though, today’s news revealed a divide between rhetoric and the political realities of the financially strapped state.
“New York is just such a crazy place to navigate politically,” he said. “We all know it’s ridiculous that this thing isn’t sanctioned in New York.”