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May 27th: Big Day in Big Apple for MMA

Written by Tom Ngo
May 23rd, 2009
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New York

The UFC has been trying to get the world’s fastest growing sport regulated in the world’s largest market for years. On May 27th, the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports will thoroughly poke, pry, prod and eventually vote on Bill 2009-B, which would allow MMA in The Big Apple.

“It will be a pretty significant first step,” Michael Kim, a representative from the Committee chair, told MMAWeekly.com.

Assemblyman Bob Reilly will be playing the role of “hater” as he will be presenting arguments opposing the bill. Reilly has been quite loud with his discontent for MMA, going as far as releasing a document to his fellow Committee folk outlining the cons of MMA and allowing the violent sport into their state.

Democratic representative, Assemblyman Jonathan Bing, will be our “Superman” as he will be presenting on behalf of MMA and its rapidly-growing fan base.

HR & A, development consulting firm, conducted a study on behalf of the UFC focusing on the economic ramifications of putting on MMA events in two key New York locations, Buffalo and New York City.

An event held at The HSBC Arena in Buffalo would accommodate up to 19,200 fans, which could generate $5.2 million in economic activity and produce $350,000 in tax revenues for the state of New York.

An MMA event at Madison Square Garden, the crown jewel of New York City, could hold up to 20,000 fans, generating an astonishing $11.3 million in economic activity and $917,000 in tax revenues for the state.

In economic times as trying as these, even a conservative Committee might find it difficult to turn their backs on that kind of cheddar. For the UFC, well being able to perform center stage at MSG would provide unparalleled exposure for the company and the sport.

There are 21 Committee members, we need 11 votes to get the Bill passed. If that happens, it will then be handed to the Codes Committee (for Bills with legal implications), then given to the Ways and Means Committee (for Bills with fiscal implications).

Both Committees will then vote on the Bill before handing the baton to the Assembly floor to conduct a general vote.

Once/If this Bill passes, it will go down as one of the most monumental days in mixed martial arts history.

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