It looks like the floundering U.S. economy is actually good for some things. A new ESPN.com article reports that the UFC is poised for yet another run at legalizing MMA in New York, with dollars and cents being at the forefront of the persuasive argument:
“The UFC also commissioned an independent economic impact study that showed a UFC event would generate $11.5 million for the city. [Dana] White said “We’re thrilled about the prospect of bringing our sport to New York and hope that legislators will recognize the tremendous economic opportunity it represents.”
“…Meanwhile, Gov. Paterson is cutting programs and paychecks to address a $15 billion deficit in the state budget, and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered $1.4 billion in budget cuts last month. Ignoring the income MMA and the UFC could bring to the state and city would seem fiscally irresponsible.”
The article also reminds us that Melvina Lathan, a former boxing judge who was recently elected new chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, is “a proponent of MMA and supports its legalization in New York.”
So there is hope yet for a groundbreaking Madison Square Garden UFC event in 2009, but it won’t come that easy. The bill for mixed martial arts legalization (No. S02858) must be approved by the New York Senate and state house before Governor David Paterson can sign on the dotted line. The legislative session begins once again tomorrow, January 7th, in Albany.