The state tax revenue generated by professional MMA fights has increased 707% since New York state legalized the mixed martial arts sport. The numbers do not lie and show revenue jumping from $ 939.495 (in the 1 period from September of 2014 to 31 of August of 2016) to $ 7,6 million (in the 1 period from September of 2016 to 31 of August of 2018) , according to the US media specializing in MMA.
Other sources report that in the period 1 of September of 2016 until the end of August of this year, the total income generated by the combat sports in New York was of 97.245.574 204,6, an increase of XNUMX% in relation to the previous period of two years .
This is great for the state of New York in general, as well as for the state government, which saw tax revenue from combat sports jumping from $ 939.495 to $ 7,5 million.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was impressed:
- "The combat sports industry has produced unprecedented revenue and economic activity for New York since we legalized mixed martial arts in our state two years ago. These new data talk a lot about the popularity of these exciting events, which support hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic production, "said Cuomo.
New York charges sales tax on tickets, and 3% or up to $ 50.000 for each simultaneous broadcast of fights.
Total revenue, including ticket sales and professionalization, even politicians like Senator John Mc Cain (recently deceased), who had unleashed a crusade against the sport in the 90 years, responsible for banning sports in several US states , ended up changing sides. 'simulcasting', shot up more than 200%, from $ 31,9 million to $ 97,2 million.
The number of tickets sold increased from 333.529 (numbers prior to the introduction of MMA) to 530.143 (after legalization of the sport in the state).
Although regrettably late, the recognition of the sport proved to be remarkably good for the sport, the fans and the state as a whole. New York became the last of the United States 50 to legalize the MMA in 2016.
Earlier that year the New York Legislative Assembly approved the holding of MMA events in the state by 113 votes to 25, with the signature of the State Governor Andrew Cuomo, authorizing the sport in definitive, a few months later.
The regularization by the Athletic Commission of the State of New York was only a consequence of all this.
It was the end of a judicial fight for 19 years and ended well for the fastest growing sport on the planet.
MMA had been banned in New York in the year of 1997 by then-Governor Geroge Pataki, since sport was not safe in those years as it is nowadays.
But with the professionalization of the modality, even politicians opposed to MMA ended up changing sides. Among these we highlight Senator John Mc Cain (recently deceased), who had unleashed a 'crusade' against sport in the 90 years and was responsible for banning the sport in several US states.
In his last years of life, the Republican cited the safety of the sport nowadays as the main reason for his change of opinion.
The war against other legislators to legalize MMA began in 2007. For eight years, the amendment did not even get to the main vote, since it was vetoed in the preliminaries.
The Fertittas brothers (still UFC owners) encouraged their athletes to campaign on social networks throughout this period.
The UFC also spent more than $ 7 million in lobby to legalize MMA in New York, but it worked.
On the day of voting in the New York Legislative Assembly, more than 20 UFC athletes were present, educating lawmakers, with Chris Weidman and Frankie Edgar being the primary interlocutors to legalize MMA in the state.
At that time, Lorenzo Fertitta thanked the politicians who helped in the approval of the law, both the Democrats and the Republicans.
Scott Coker, president of Bellator, was also pleased and stated that the legalization of MMA in New York was a watershed in this incredible sport.
Today, just two years after the 'canetada' of Governor Andrew Cuomo everyone can see the economic benefits that MMA has brought to the state as a whole.
We who are part of the global MMA community are grateful to open-minded politicians like Governor Andrew Cuomo, Heastie, Majority Leader (Joe) Morelle, and all members of the Assembly - Democrats and Republicans - who voted for this law.
Thanks to you, we are happy and radiant, and we can finally go 'humming' the 'New York theme', eternalized in the voice of Frank Sinatra: "New York, New York" ...
* Text from the collaborator Oriosvaldo Costa. | Written in 21 / 12 / 2018