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UFC turns down Vancouver’s request for extra police at UFC 131

UFC115crowd

The UFC broke down another barrier at UFC 115 by getting Vancouver to acquiesce and then regulate an event at Rogers Arena. The fastest selling event in UFC history drew 17,669, and by all accounts was a huge success. Now we find out, three weeks before UFC 131 returns to Vancouver, that there's still some resistance in city.

Tom Wright confirmed to MMAFighting that Vancouver P.D. asked the UFC to pay for extra security around the arena on the night of the event. Wright didn't see the need for extra policing.

"I spoke with the VPD [Thursday] and advised them that we would not be funding any 'expanded police presence' for community areas in the general vicinity of the Rogers Arena," the director of Canadian Operations wrote.

Residents thought UFC 115 brought a bad element to their area before and after the event.

Residents complained of public drinking, rowdy drunks and public urination before and after the UFC event. Chu and representatives of Rogers Arena have since met with the False Creek Residents' Association to discuss safety and security.

Aside from an increased police presence, portable toilets are expected to be placed outside Rogers Arena and along routes used by pedestrians to get to and from the venue.

Wright was quick to defend the sport and say it's no different than a hockey crowd.{ysp:more}

"I explained that while we remain supportive of law enforcement in every city we bring shows to, we weren't prepared to be 'treated differently' than other events/concerts/shows (Canucks, Rolling Stones etc). This is a particularly important consideration when 'incidents' at UFC events are typically fewer than other big events. As I explained, if I were the Chief I'd be more worried about Canuck fans (celebrating or crying in their beers) than UFC fans."

Apparently, there's been buzz for the extra security since it came to light that two residents were attacked in the area near the arena. The two men arrested had attended UFC 115. Adding fuel to the fire, the victims were also gay and the suspects were accused of shouting homophobic slurs during the beatdown.

Are MMA crowds worse than hockey, boxing and football crowds? I've never seen an example.

Getting MMA to Vancouver was never an easy process for the UFC. Just weeks before UFC 116, the promotion nearly pulled the event because of an insurance squabble with local officials.

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