Earlier this week, after state lawmakers voted to legalize professional mixed-martial arts in New York, the first order of business for many involved with the sport was to start counting the money.
Early estimates suggested nearly $70 million would be pumped into the state’s annual economy through Ultimate Fighting events between New York City and Buffalo. Two events could be staged before 2017, most likely starting in Madison Square Garden.
While there’s no denying the financial benefits tethered to a sport that had been legal everywhere else in North America, it also allows the state to regulate the sport. MMA all along has been legal in New York at the amateur level but was unregulated.
The latest decision will generate money and keep the sport much safer, a win-win in my book.
I’m not against MMA, but I’m not some passionate fan. But you don’t need to subscribe to pay-per-view events or keep up with the combatants to know legalization and regulation made sense for everyone involved.
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