Joe Robach and the New York State Senate recently passed legislation (S.1707A) to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions in New York State.

Joe Robach and the Senate know that legalizing and regulating mixed martial arts in New York would strengthen our economy and help create new jobs.  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.  In nearly 20 years, it has grown into an international phenomenon. Forty-seven of the 50 states allow mixed martial arts matches including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida. The Ultimate Fighting Championship 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.

There are significant tourist and tax revenue dollars flowing to neighboring states who are hosting these events.   A 2008 study reported 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. 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 2008 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.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly for their consideration.  For more information about this legislation or any other bill pending in the New York State Senate, contact Joe Robach’s office.