Bad news for MMA in New York, as Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his budget plans. Speculators hoped he would address spending cuts and making New York more business friendly, as well as MMA. Well, Cuomo did the first two, and as for the latter – not so much.
During his presentation, Cuomo stated that New York was “functionally bankrupt”, and suggested short term spending cuts to stabilize the state economy and find new ways to bring businesses and jobs back into the state. However, Cuomo did not mention MMA once, not even mention of the bill to legalize the sport which has been proven to generate a great deal of revenue for the city. He also proposed eliminating the salary for the Chair of the State Athletic Commission, which is very dire news indeed. Cuomo has never once taken an official stance on the sport once, nary even uttering the three letters that form its acronym.
I am not really sure what to make of this proposal, but it seems like a bad sign for all combative sports, not just MMA, and may shed some light on the Governor’s view of the “economics” of these sports in New York in general,” The Fight Lawyer, Justin Klein said on his blog about this news. “Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget makes clear, he is tackling a $10 Billion dollar budget deficit and MMA with an estimated $23 million in “economic impact” is simply not compelling.” Zuffa has pumped $74,600 into Cuomo’s campaign and hoped the Democrat would work towards approving MMA in the state. It seems that Zuffa’s money has fallen on deaf ears, and that MMA will still be at least another year away from New York.
Alas, hope is not lost yet. Coming up next week on February 8, The Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY Now will be holding their rally outside of City Hall in Manhattan. If you want to help make sure politicians are aware of the possible revenue that could be generated immediately, come down and have your voice heard!
Additional reporting courtesy of US Combat Sports