Since the ban was lifted on the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York in 2016, the state has hosted the UFC, Bellator, and The Professional Fighters League. One of the sticking points in getting the ban lifted from the sport was the revenue it would bring in from fight fans traveling to see events as well as the homegrown, New York martial arts culture that was longing for MMA events in the state.
So far, MMA has brought in the revenue as expected according to Newsday and Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “This new data speaks volumes about the popularity of these exciting events, which support hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic output.” The first major event when the ban was lifted was UFC 205 right in Madison Square Garden which broke records at the venue, but also brought in $17,740,543 in ticket sales revenue.
“The combat sports industry has produced unprecedented revenue and economic activity for New York since the introduction of mixed martial arts two years ago.” –Governor Andre Cuomo
Newsday reported that New York State collected $1,557,946.16 in sales tax that night. A study released by the Governor said the revenue generated from combat sports as whole increased nearly 200 percent when looking at boxing, MMA, and wrestling. The two years since the ban on MMA has lifted MMA, ticket sales to all combat sports events in New York generated $67,137,970 in revenue according to the information released by Cuomo.
The UFC returns to the state January when they come to the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn for the first event on ESPN and ESPN +. Barclay’s center hosted UFC 208 and UFC 223 since the ban was lifted, this will be the third MMA event there, and the first of 2019.