UFC President Dana White drops some economic knowledge for New York locals and legislators yesterday on the NY Daily News. Here’s what White wrote regarding the current bill to regulate MMA that is currently before the Assembly.
At this point, it’s very odd that New York would allow and even celebrate a sport like football, in which people have experienced serious and lasting physical injuries, and cling to the fiction that MMA is legalized assault said Dana White.
How successful would the sport be here? We got a taste a few weeks ago. A fight at the Rogers Centre in Toronto brought in ticket sales at the gate of more than $12 million – the largest for any event ever held at the arena. The sellout crowd of more than 55,000 – bigger than when an NFL game was held there – poured in to the city early and stayed late, purchasing arena concessions, staying in hotel rooms, dining at restaurants and taking taxis.
I am positive that an event in New York would have the same kind of success. While Madison Square Garden is obviously a pinnacle for any sport, we have a large fan base in cities like Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Albany, all of which could use the economic lift.
We commissioned an economic impact study to demonstrate how much revenue one of our events would generate for the State of New York. The study, by HR & A, found that sanctioning MMA in New York City would generate more than $23 million in net new economic activity. In Buffalo, an event would generate $5.2 million in economic activity.
Those figures assume only two UFC events, and we estimate we could do as many as three per year in New York State.
Little wonder momentum is growing to overturn the ban. The state Senate recently voted overwhelmingly to sanction mixed martial arts and the Assembly’s tourism committee followed suit; now it’s time to allow a full Assembly vote.
The sports capital of the world deserves access to one of the world’s fastest-growing sports, one that will bring money and jobs to state and local businesses.