Empire State ready to step into the Octagon
Just a quick note to let the fight fans know that we haven't forgotten about you.
I'm in Dunedin, Fla. these days, trying to stay warm by setting the internet ablaze with my chronicles of Blue Jays training camp. Haven't seen outfield prospect Joey Gathright vault over any parked cars yet...
...but as he explained to the Star this week, he really, really REALLY wants to be known for something else.
ANYWAY after a few days to overcome the baseball intertia we're ready again to keep the blog ball rolling, so here's a link to get you started this Tuesday morning.
As of right now mixed martial arts is still illegal in New York, but MMA fans in the Empire State should be encouraged. Melvina Lathan, the woman atop the state boxing commission, supports the sport -- and the men in her family love it. Not sure how the pay-per-view habits of her husband and kids will affect legislation but as the story points out, the state budget comes down April 1 and it includes legislation to end the state's ban on MMA.
Really, what other reason is there?:
A study for the state said that one mixed martial arts show in Buffalo and one in Manhattan would generate $1.2 million in state and local taxes. Lathan said the study underestimated the economic impact of legalization, which would almost certainly lure New York fans who are attending combat cards held in states where the sport is legal.
“Those are our revenues going outside the state,” she said.
If it makes dollars it makes sense for New York State.
No word on how the coming legislation in New York will affect MMA's status here. I'm guessing it won't. The people running combat sports in Ontario seem determined to make -- or not make -- a decision on MMA on their own, without regard to legal barriers that tumble in other jurisdictions.
But as the UFC's Canadian legal reps told us last month, the campaign will continue.
Follow the Star's Morgan Campbell on Twitter: http://twitter.com/morganpcampbell