Last week, UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar (#1 Lightweight) joined UFC executives Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Scott O’Neil, the president of Madison Square Garden Sports, for a press conference at MSG’s Club Bar & Grill. The press conference – which streamed live on FIGHT! – was held to announce a plan to bring the UFC to MSG as soon as the New York legislature approves the regulation of MMA.
The UFC also released a new economic impact study during the press conference which details the economic benefits of regulating MMA in New York State. According to the study, the sanctioning of MMA in New York would result in approximately $23 million in annual new spending. The study can be viewed here.
“We’ve done similar economic studies in major cities such as Boston, Las Vegas and Philadelphia and each showed the substantial positive impact hosting a UFC event has on the local economy,” Fertitta said. “This study shows that by regulating MMA, New York can reap the economic benefits statewide.”
New York is one of only nine American states that do not regulate the sport. Legislation to allow the New York State Athletic Commission to regulate MMA was included in the Executive Budget, passed the State Senate, and passed the New York Assembly Tourism Committee and Codes Committee for the second year in a row.
The UFC has promoted cards in all of the major urban areas surrounding New York City, including Boston, Mass., Philadelphia, Penn., and Newark, NJ. The promotion will return to New Jersey for UFC 128: Shogun vs. Evans on March 19.
“We are thrilled that Dana and the UFC are so committed to New York,” O’Neil said during the presser. “UFC and its passionate fans have a home here at Madison Square Garden, and we look forward to welcoming them as soon as the sport is regulated in New York. We have no doubt that UFC would be enormously popular at The Garden and a great addition to our lineup of world class sports and entertainment events.”