MMA Ban and Economic Hard Times


Mixed Martial Arts Legislation in NY Would Spur New Economic Activity

By Alexia Krause



With the New York state deficit hitting $8 billion, steps need to be
taken in order to right the ship that is the state's budget. Recently
New York Gov. David Paterson stated that the projected deficit for the
upcoming fiscal year has grown by an additional $750 million. There's no
doubting that the Empire State is in dire straits trying to fix their
deficit. It is extremely difficult trying to balance a state budget at a
time when the country as a whole is going through some of its most
difficult economic hurdles in recent history. This forces us to take a
fresh look at which programs will continue to receive funding. As a
result, the state has been forced to cut, reject, and outright shut down
many state programs and projects in order to make some type of movement
out of the red and back into the black. Many of these budget cuts (like
closing down state parks and cutting funding to public schools) were
rampant and have cast an unfavorable light on politicians in Albany in
the eyes of many New Yorkers. However, something must be done in order
to fight the ailing state economy. As coincidence has it, a good fight
might just be the answer to the budget problems.



On June 16th, the New York State Senate passed a bill to legalize MMA in
the state in an effort to help amend the state's financial problems.
Opening the floodgates for MMA in New York would be more of a benefit to
the state than it would to the MMA Industry. For years, promoters have
happily held venues in nearby New Jersey. Mixed martial arts
competitions like UFC, among others, have been banned in the state
because many lawmakers felt it was too brutal of a sport (even though
other legal sports like football and hockey can be just as- if not more-
brutal). With the passing of this new bill, fans will finally be able
to support their home state and local venues. MMA events would
potentially have access to one of the most active metropolises in the
world- New York City. There are dozens of great venues surrounding the
state who have been capitalizing on this opportunity for years. At the
UFC's most recent event held in New Jersey, there were more New York
residents in attendance than NJ natives. Fortunately state legislators
have finally come to the realization that legalizing MMA will open
access to a new revenue stream that it gravely needs.



By welcoming MMA in the state, as much as $11 million in economic
activity could be generated for each event held. This activity ranges
from salaries paid to venue workers, to an increased interest in martial
arts training academies and dojos, and to tourism dollars spent in the
surrounding area. At every step of the way, tax revenue is generated.
Governor Paterson expects over $2 million generated annually if the bill
is passed. The MMA organization UFC (who would play a large role in
scheduling events in the state) is broadcasted in over 170 countries,
made $5.1 million in Pay-Per-View sales in 2007 alone, and averaged 30.6
million viewers in that same year. This is 3 years ago mind you; the
figures projected for the next fiscal year are much higher. This type of
outreach is bound to benefit the state and bring thousands to events,
thus helping the economies of struggling New York state cities.



Holding events isn't the only way that this bill will help bring money
to the state of New York. In fact, the broad reach of allowing MMA to be
legalized is something that will affect participants in the sport from
top to bottom. For example, people who run mixed martial training gyms
and programs will see a huge revenue generating boost in enrollment that
will give many the chance to train and compete in their home state.
This bill may even have the effect of preventing violence instead of
causing it (which opponents of the bill argue) because it will allow
many kids to go someplace safe after school. Studies have shown that
when at-risk children are trained by mentors in a disciplined sport such
as MMA, they are less likely to become involved in criminal or violent
activities. This is one of the most important aspects of the bill from a
human perspective, and one of the greatest reasons why this bill needs
to be passed.



Every once in a while, a sport can transcend its origins and become a
true cultural phenomenon. This is what MMA could be for the state of New
York and that is precisely why this bill needs to be passed. The New
York budget is going through one of its worst economic times ever, but
by legalizing MMA, it can help to fight back against the deficit and
make a difference in the lives of millions of New Yorkers.



Update:

As of the morning of June 29th, 2010, the state assembly quashed the
proposed bill which would legalize the sport. The efforts to block MMA
in the state are led by a Mr. Bob Reilly, Assemblyman of the 109th
district. You can read some of his stances in an interview conducted by
Ben Fowlkes of cagepotato.com last year. If you visit that link, pay
careful attention to his inconsistencies and question-dodging. This man
claims to be a lifelong fan of boxing, but some of his comments in that
interview are quite surprising.



Although this decision is a big setback for the industry, this is not
the final word for the measure. New York is one of only 6 states which
blindly ignore this sport. With your support, new revenue and jobs can
be still be created.





Alexia is a lifelong fan of sports and fitness. Recently, she's been
smitten by Mixed Martial Arts. She is happy to be representing MMA
Industries, proud suppliers of MMA training gloves to athletes around
the world. Alexia continues to bring you the latest news in the mixed
martial arts world on everything from the most advanced MMA equipment to
the newest MMA shirts.
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