UFC Coming to Boston?
With Latest Hurdle Passed, UFC Plans to Invade Massachusetts by Summer 2010
With the UFC branching out more and more into different countries, the fact that several major states in the USA still don’t sanction Mixed Martial Arts has flown a bit under the radar. New York City is the obvious “promised land”, with many seeing the state of New York as the last great obstacle before MMA is regulated nation-wide. Yet few can argue that Boston and Massachusetts are also a city/state combination known for their deep history with, and love of, all manner of sports.
Unlike New York, that love does seem to be transcending into legal action, as a bill to regulate MMA in the state of Massachusetts has recently passed the State Senate by a strong 34-1 vote.
Two steps are left in bringing MMA to Massachusetts: first the bill will go to the House Ways and Means Committee for additional consideration. Barring any problems, the bill would then arrive at the desk of Governor Deval Patrick.
Senator James Timilty appears particularly interested in Mixed Martial Arts coming to Massachusetts, having this to say.
“It’s going to be good for the Commonwealth because with this step being taken, some of the bigger promoters who wouldn’t come into a state that had not legitimized it with regulation will now entertain a pretty big gate in one of the major cities in the Commonwealth. That’s going to mean a lot in terms of bringing something to the sporting public who desperately want it, and it will also mean a revenue stream for the Commonwealth.”
How much revenue are we talking about? Earlier this year, in an attempt to convince the lawmakers of the “Bay State” to legalize MMA, UFC lobbyists predicted that a UFC event in Boston could make over twelve million dollars in just one weekend.
The UFC remains optimistic in their drive to bring legalized MMA to Boston, and the promotion is in the early stages of planning a major pay-per-view event from the TD Banknorth Garden. Eager fans will most likely have to wait until the summer of 2010, though.
Marc Ratner, UFC Vice President of Regulation and Governmental Affairs, assures fight fans that it would be worth the wait- even hinting at a possible fan expo to make the occasion even more special. Here’s what he had to say.
“We’re very excited. We want to come to Massachusetts, but as I’ve told the world, we’re not going to come there unless it’s fully regulated. I’m going to use the word when, not even if, but when it gets approved and sanctioned, then we would schedule a show sometime hopefully in June, July or August (of 2010). And, like we did in Las Vegas (at UFC 100), we’d have a fan expo built around it if we could. That’s how much we really want to be there.”
Also, don’t forget that Dana White himself is from Boston, so that gives even more credence to the rumors that the UFC will be looking to make a Boston event as monumental as possible.