STUDY SHOWS ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP® IS POISED TO CONTRIBUTE MILLIONS TO NEW YORK STATE ECONOMY
UFC® Event in New York City Would Result in $11.5 Million in ‘Net New’ Economic Spending; Buffalo Event Would Generate $5.2 Million in Total Economic Activity
With Record-Breaking Event Attendance, Mixed Martial Arts Will Contribute Needed Tax Dollars and Tourist Revenue to Cash-Strapped Communities Around New York State
NEW YORK, NY – A study released today showed that Ultimate Fighting Championship® events in New York City and Buffalo would have a significant impact on state and local economies by generating tax revenues, creating jobs and boosting tourism industries.
Professional mixed martial arts is one of the highest grossing arena sports in the country, drawing sell-out crowds and bringing in millions of dollars in ticket and concession sales. One of the fastest growing sports in America, MMA is regulated in 36 states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida. Legislators in Albany will consider regulating the sport in New York State when the legislative session begins in January.
UFC® is the most heavily regulated of the mixed martial arts leagues. Since 2001, UFC® has employed strenuous rules and regulations to protect its athletes, including medical testing and safety requirements more rigorous than those in professional boxing.
“At a time when the New York economy is in crisis, it would be a mistake for the state to miss out on the considerable revenue that our events would generate. UFC®’s popularity is surging, our fan base is expanding, and our presence is growing. We are eager to bring both the excitement of our new sport as well as its major tax and tourist revenue to New York State,” said Marc Ratner, UFC® Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs. “We look forward to being able to meet the tremendous demand that exists for our events in upstate New York as well as New York City.”
“Our events have brought millions of dollars in tax and tourist revenue to nearly every city we have held an event in – we are constantly breaking arena records for concession sales, merchandise and ticket sales,” said Dana White, UFC® President. “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.”
“The Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau is very excited about bringing MMA and the UFC® to New York State and the City of Buffalo,” said Richard Geiger, President/CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Each individual event represents thousands of visitors and millions of dollars in economic impact for the city. Hosting world-class events of this magnitude are an important part of showcasing our region while generating dollars for local businesses.”
“In recent years, mixed martial arts has evolved from its beginnings into a more reformed, organized and regulated sport worthy of our review for sanctioning consideration in New York State,” said New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo. “In the last fifteen years, it has grown into an international phenomenon. It’s long past time to look into officially sanctioning this sport in New York. More than two-thirds of the states commission mixed martial arts matches. There are significant tourist and tax revenue dollars flowing to neighboring states who are hosting these events. We need to immediately examine the potential for the sport to thrive here.”
The full economic impact study can be downloaded at MMAFacts.com. Key findings include:
New York City:::
* The study found that a UFC event in New York City would generate $11.5 million in ‘net new’ economic activity: $5.3 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in non-lodging visitor spending, and $4.9 million in indirect/induced benefits.
* The study also found that significant demand exists within the local New York City area for UFC events. Of the 134 UFC events held nationwide from November 1993 to January 2009, only 12 have been within New York regional area.
* UFC events would produce substantial employee compensation: UFC events require over 300 staff working on the event, equivalent to the creation of 88 full-time local jobs per event.
* The creation of over 88 local jobs injects $4.2 million dollars in compensation to the local economy.
Local and State Taxes
* There will be direct revenue benefits for both local and state governments worth almost $1.0 M of total fiscal impacts to New York City and New York State.
* Each event would generate $400,000 in tax revenue for New York City and $555,000 in tax revenue for New York State (from sales tax, hotel occupancy tax, personal income tax, business income tax, boxing/exhibitions tax, auto rental tax)
Other Local Impacts
* UFC events would result in an additional 1,850 hotel night stays in New York City.
* UFC events would also create additional tourism and media exposure.
* The study found that a UFC event in Buffalo would generate $1.7 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in visitor spending, $2.1 million in indirect/induced benefits.
* An event would produce substantial employee compensation: Every UFC event requires 300 staff working on the event, equivalent to the creation of 57 full-time local jobs.
* The creation of 57 local jobs injects $1.7 million dollars in compensation to the local economy.
Local and State Taxes
* There will be direct revenue benefits for both the local and state governments - worth nearly $.4 million of total fiscal impacts to Buffalo and New York State.
* Each event would generate $30,000 in tax revenue for Buffalo and $320,000 in tax revenue for New York State (from sales tax, hotel occupancy tax, personal income tax, business income tax, boxing/exhibitions tax, auto rental tax).
Other Local Impacts
* There will be a significant net gain in Western New York hotel occupancy: The study estimates that UFC events would add 4,100 hotel night stays representing an additional occupancy of 11%.
The study was conducted by HR&A Advisors. Information on methodology is included in the full report, available for download at MMAFacts.com.