Tomorrow, the legislature of New York will again consider allowing mixed martial arts in the Empire State. In MMA's last attempt to win the approval of New York's Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sport Development, the bill failed before it even got out of committee. That was due in part to the raging ignorance of the members of the committee, who claimed not to know much about the sport but also maintained that it was brutal.
Now that the UFC has spent time and money lobbying and "educating" the state government, ignorance can no longer be feigned. The state of New York could benefit from staging not only UFC fights in New York City and Buffalo -- which would bring the state more than $13 milion for both shows -- but also smaller shows in Albany, Syracuse and other cities around the state. Right now, NYC is projecting that budget shortfalls will reach $8 billion by 2011, and the state has $15 billion deficit. Why would any responsible legislator not allow for the possibility of a sport that is not only a potential cash cow, but also is regulated in most of the other states in the country. MMA events happen in California, Nevada, Illinois, Florida and New Jersey with regularity, and no harm has come to these places as a result.
It's time for New York to stop pussyfooting around and listening to the hysterical calls of a vocal, uneducated minority. Pass this bill, reap the benefits and then spend a little time on things like education and the flailing economy.