N.Y. Senate votes to legalize MMA

by R.M. Schneiderman | source: wsj.com

new york moved one step closer to becoming the 45th state to regulate mixed martial arts, as the state Senate voted 32-26 to pass a bill on Wednesday that would legalize the sport.

A similar bill is currently in committee in the state Assembly, where it is expected to pass before facing a close vote on the Assembly floor. If it gets out of the Assembly, Gov. Paterson is expected to sign it into law and fans could see a mixed martial arts event in Madison Square Garden as early as this fall.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the sport’s most well-known promotion, is hoping an Assembly vote will take place over the next two weeks before the current legislative session ends.

Earlier this year, Gov. Paterson included a provision in his budget proposal to legalize the sport, which has been banned in the state since the late 1990s. But the state’s ongoing budget negotiations — coupled with some reservations by lawmakers — seemed to have made passage unlikely, at least during the budget process.

Assemblyman Bob Reilly, the bill’s main opponent, has called the sport barbaric and points to a Marist poll, released in January, that reported that 68% of registered voters don’t want to see the MMA ban lifted.

Yet in March, some 17,000 people showed up to an Ultimate Fighting Championship title bout in Newark. And New Yorkers purchased more than 30% of the tickets, the UFC said. Roughly two thousand more New Yorkers attended a simulcast viewing party for the event at Radio City Music Hall.

With both the state and the city facing economic uncertainty, the sport’s best selling point appears to be simple economics. A study sponsored by the UFC predicted that an event in Manhattan would generate $11.3 million in economic activity.

Reilly said the study overstates the benefit of the sport.

Read entire article...

Payout Perspective:
This is definitely positive news, but it’s still far too early to start celebrating. The Senate vote wasn’t a landslide at 32-26, and a similar bill will still have to pass through two votes in the Assembly before Gov. Patterson can sign off on regulating the sport.

Moreover, even if the bill does pass, there’s no guarantee we see MMA in New York this year due to the potential set-up time that might be required by the state athletic commission to begin proper oversight over the sport.

However, I can’t help but wonder if this news might apply additional pressure on Ontario to legalize the sport. These politicians may very well be looking around at the existing sports and entertainment landscape – one that heavily supports the tourism industry – and decide that they cannot afford to cede any more advantages to their competition, domestically or internationally.


tags: legislation   regulation   new york   


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Recent Comments »

ZANGx site profile image  

6/17/10 6:12 AM by ZANGx

sweeeet !

Theonlyvivid site profile image  

6/16/10 10:29 PM by Theonlyvivid

Thank God!! People don't realize how much further this sport can go after a few major shows in MSG. This is the validator for this sport..

StretchPlum site profile image  

6/16/10 10:19 PM by StretchPlum

"Who are these stone age pricks that still think that MMA should be illegal?"That never was the problem in NY, even though that was the guise the opposition took. It was boxing, just like casinos are illegal because of the strength of pari-muteuls.

RocknRolla site profile image  

6/16/10 8:26 PM by RocknRolla

about time

UKMORROCKANROLL site profile image  

6/16/10 8:25 PM by UKMORROCKANROLL

Great news.

Archangel site profile image  

6/16/10 7:24 PM by Archangel

very good news

HOWtasteMYbigPP site profile image  

6/16/10 6:56 PM by HOWtasteMYbigPP

I know Bob Reilly is the main guy who is apposed to it. The rumor is that he is an old school boxing fan and "may" have ties with the mob.

HereWeAre site profile image  

6/16/10 6:21 PM by HereWeAre

Who are these stone age pricks that still think that MMA should be illegal?

HOWtasteMYbigPP site profile image  

6/16/10 6:15 PM by HOWtasteMYbigPP

So how many more steps before it's legal?Does anyone really think we will see the UFC in New York in 2010?

KahL site profile image  

6/16/10 4:49 PM by KahL

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!