New Hampshire Leading New England Regulation

July 4, 2008

The New Hampshire Business Review gives details on the athletic commission in the state looking to add MMA to its purview. While the health and safety of the participants is always the first reason the state gives in extending oversight, the article also is honest about the financial aspect:

“The state can always use every little dollar we can bring in,” he said.

The new law will allow the state to collect 5 percent of the gate for every professional MMA bout. Hardly a killing at an event like “Cagefight MMA: The Beginning,” which drew 800 fans who paid an average $70 per ticket, but significant for a commission that brings in a total of $30,000 during a good year.

UFC VP Marc Ratner is quoted in the article and NH looks to be a market that he has been cultivating for regulation for quite some time, having been in close contact with the athletic commission there for about a year and a half. The UFC’s moves have been low key and less dollar intensive compared to the similar efforts in New York and Massachusetts. The bill regulating MMA cleared the state legislature on voice votes, and Gov. John Lynch was expected to sign it. The state may become attractive to some of the larger MMA companies because of one quirk in the law:

Big-time promoters like the UFC make as much of 75 percent of their money from television and pay-per view broadcasts. Laws elsewhere require some of that money — generally about 2 percent — to go back to the host states, a provision absent from New Hampshire’s new law.

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