UFC Urges Gov. Cuomo & ESDC to Bring the Fastest Growing Sport in the World to New York
In light of press reports that Governor Cuomo is planning to create a new sports division within the Empire State Development Corporation, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today urged the Governor and ESDC to fight for making professional mixed martial arts (MMA) legal in New York and bring the fastest growing sport in the world to the Empire State.
“High profile sporting events create tourism, revenue and jobs. So we applaud Governor Cuomo for seeking to increase professional and amateur sporting events across the state. We urge the Governor and his team to help bring professional MMA to New York. The time has come for the merger of the UFC’s worldwide brand with the iconic I♥NY brand,” UFC Chairman & CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said.
“New York is one of only two states that does not allow professional MMA events. Yet, millions of New Yorkers watch the UFC on Fox and other networks, buy our pay-per-view events, travel out of state to see our events, attend and follow the growing number of amateur MMA events in New York, play our video games, and read about UFC and our fighters in their local newspapers,” Fertitta said. “There are hundreds of MMA schools and training facilities across the state. New Yorkers are helping to make MMA the fastest growing sport in history – both in fans and in participants.
“It’s time to let New York MMA fans attend UFC events in New York City, on Long Island, in the Hudson Valley, in the Capital Region, in the North Country, in the Mohawk Valley, in Central New York, in the Southern Tier, in the Finger Lakes Region, and in Western New York,” Fertitta said. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The UFC has contributed to economic development and job creation in communities across the country and around the world and we are eager to bring that kind of economic development and sports excitement to communities across New York.”
Bob Belber, SMG General Manager of Times Union Center in Albany, NY states "We are in full support of the legalization of MMA in New York. The Times Union Center looks forward to being able to host multiple sell out UFC events in the Capital Region. These events can potentially bring an additional $9 million - $12 million dollars in economic impact to the area. UFC has a tremendous fan base in the Albany area and SMG and The Times Union Center are eager to give the fans what they want."
The New York State Senate has passed a bill to legalize professional MMA in New York for the last three years. The bill has not been voted upon by the Assembly.
“New York is home to two major league and nearly a dozen minor league baseball teams, three NFL teams, two NBA teams, three, NHL teams and scores of other professional sports franchises. New York is home to some of the best arenas and stadiums in the nation, including the world’s most famous stadium, the nation’s most famous arena, and the newest premiere arena venue in America,” Fertitta said. “New York should also be home to regularly scheduled UFC and other MMA events so it can create new jobs, bring in new revenue, and reclaim its title of being the sports capital of the world.”