UFC introduces economic impact study on behalf of legalization in NY
January 13, 2011
The latest UFC public relations efforts to sway approval for legalized mixed martial arts in New York came at a press conference on Thursday. The UFC introduced an economic impact study which indicated that two UFC events in New York in the first year of regulation would garner the state $23 million dollars.
UFC president Dana White and UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta reaffirmed its fight for MMA in New York City. The UFC announced that it is committed to two shows in New York upon the legalization of MMA in the state. One of the shows would take place in Madison Square Garden. Another is believed to take place in upstate New York (HSBC Arena in Buffalo)
From the UFC press release:
The study found that holding two UFC events in the state (one at Madison Square Garden and one in Buffalo) will create roughly $16 million in new spending. Additionally, the study found smaller MMA operators will likely hold events that would bring an additional $4 million. In total, $23 million of annual new spending and hundreds of new jobs will be created in the local economy by regulating MMA. Many UFC fans travel from surrounding states, stay for extended periods (at least one night at a hotel), and often arrive hours early for fights, which boosts merchandise and concession sales. New York-based MMA gyms and related industries are also expected to see an increase in revenue from the regulation of the sport. Likewise, local businesses will benefit greatly from MMA bouts, particularly outside of New York City where the economic influx is proportionally greater. This trend follows that of surrounding states which currently regulate MMA fights.
The study makes certain assumptions, but the UFC makes a case based on economics, as to why mixed martial arts should be legalized in New York — it makes economic sense. I found its “trickle down” theory of how MMA would positively affect other revenue streams (e.g., merchandise, local MMA gyms, etc.) as a nice tie in for local New York businesses that may feel the pinch of the current state of the economy. It would be interesting to know how the UFC study determined the annual revenue New York would recieve from “smaller MMA operators” (read Strikeforce, Bellator and other minor league shows) MMA shows.
We will see this study picked apart by opponents in the coming weeks, but this is an interesting start to what appears to be another campaign to make inroads in the New York market.