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Toronto Sends $40 Million Message to New York

Written by Tom Ngo
June 22nd, 2011
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UFC Welterweight Champ Georges St Pierre Manila

Shortly after the New York State Assembly shot down all hopes of seeing mixed martial arts inside of Madison Square Garden for at least another year, the TorontoStar published an article detailing the estimated $40 million “UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields” pumped into their local economy when the Octagon came rumbling through their streets.

The April 30th show doubled the largest MMA attendance record in North America, packing 55,724 screaming fanboys inside the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. The extravaganza also set a single-day gate record for the domed stadium at $11.5 million.

While those numbers are mind-boggling, the money train certainly doesn’t stop there when it comes to the UFC’s economic impact. According to the report, local restaurants enjoyed a 19.2 percent jump in dollars spent compared week-over-week.

Furthermore, bars and pubs also experienced a 15.7 percent rise in their business during fight week.

The report also showed a significant increase in retail shopping surrounding the downtown area. Apparel and sporting goods stores enjoyed a whopping 41.3 percent and a 33 percent jump in sales, respectively.

Oh, and let’s not talk about tourist dollars. Ok, let’s. For UFC 129, Toronto hotels witnessed a 20.3 percent jump in revenue. Occupancy rates were reportedly in the high 90s, which is far from typical in April.

Earlier this year, the UFC hired HR&A Advisors to become the Octagon’s official number crunchers. HR&A conducted an independent economic impact study and concluded New York stands to create hundreds of jobs and generate more than $23 million annually through the legalization of MMA.

Just sayin’…

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