SBD/January 14, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MSG, UFC Lobby Lawmakers For Legalization Of MMA In State Of N.Y.

MSG Sports President Scott O'Neil Thursday joined UFC officials "to persuade Albany to legalize" MMA in New York, according to Carl Campanile of the N.Y. POST. A UFC analysis unveiled Thursday indicated that "sanctioning the fights would generate $23 million in economic activity for the state by holding two major UFC fight nights -- one at the Garden, another in Buffalo -- and several smaller events around the state." The study projected that the fights "would draw 145,000 fans, generate $12.9 million in ticket sales and create 212 new jobs." Former N.Y. Gov. David Paterson last year "pushed to legalize the bouts to generate $2 million in taxes for the state." A proposal "narrowly passed the state Senate, but was blocked in the Democratic-run Assembly." Forty-four states currently sanction MMA bouts (N.Y. POST, 1/14).'s Franklin McNeil reported N.Y. State Assembly member Dean Murray "has already begun lobbying for the passing of mixed martial arts legislation in New York," and he has "even had a conversation" with new Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Early feedback from their conversation on MMA is "positive." Murray: "I'm not going to speak for the Governor, but I did have a conversation with him and he seems open. We've sent a letter and talked to him personally and requested that he include this in his budget proposal" (, 1/13). Murray: "In today's climate, we don't need to be raising taxes. We need a chance to raise revenue" (, 1/13). On Long Island, Mark LaMonica reports UFC "would host two events annually in the state, with a pay-per-view card at the Garden being the main draw" (NEWSDAY, 1/14). USA TODAY's Sergio Non notes New York state banned MMA in '97. UFC President Dana White: "There's absolutely no reason why it should not be in the state of New York. It makes absolutely no sense" (USA TODAY, 1/14).
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