SBD/March 8, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

New York Lawmaker Speculates MMA Will Be Approved By State, Could Increase Revenue

Legalizing MMA in New York could mean more jobs and revenue for the state
New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Wednesday said “at some point there will probably be an approval” for MMA in the state, according to Greg Newman of ESPN N.Y. Silver said that he is “still personally opposed to MMA but sees how the sport could be used to increase the state’s revenue.” State Sen. Joseph Griffo said, "The legalization enjoys widespread, bipartisan support from upstate and downstate members in both houses." He added, "Legalizing MMA in New York will mean jobs and increased revenue” (ESPNNY.com, 3/7). New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “I think it’s making progress and it’s something that we’re looking at. It’s a possible source for revenue in New York and we are all about looking for revenue in this state. So if we can bring economic activity in -- shows, etc. -- that's something we're very interested in and we're reviewing the current proposals" (NEWSDAY, 3/8). Meanwhile, UFC Exec VP & Asia Managing Dir Mark Fischer on Friday said that there is “a strong chance” UFC will hold a fight card in the Philippines next year after recent "failed attempts." In Manila, Joey Villar reports top officials at all-sports TV channel Balls “are expected to meet with the Mall of Asia people hoping to hold the planned 2014 UFC event at the MOA Arena.” UFC has “recently been aggressive in experimenting with the Asian market, having held fight cards in Japan twice and Macau, China once.” The company has “plans of staging about seven more cards in the next two years” (PHILSTAR.com, 3/8).

THIS IS IT? CBSSPORTS.com’s Gregg Doyel wrote UFC’s partnership with Fox Sports 1 is the MMA promotion’s “best chance, maybe even its last chance, to become the crossover behemoth many of its fans … have wanted to see.” But it is “not going to happen, sad to say.” UFC is “a niche sport, always has been and always will be, and its partnership with Fox Sports 1 won't change that.” Doyel: “No amount of luck will help the UFC get any more popular than it already is, however, because it has very nearly maxed out.” He continued, “What I didn't know in 2009, but what I can see now, is that almost everyone who might be interested in getting on board already was.” UFC in ‘09 “wasn't the next version of the NBA or MLB, a monster sport about to rise toward the top.” Doyel added UFC has "crested” (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/7).
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