The UFC has only been to the state of South Dakota one time, back in July 2016 when the promotion headlined an event in Sioux Falls with a bantamweight between John Lineker and Michael McDonald. The occasion brought in $160,000 for the state’s commission.
The South Dakota state panel that oversees boxing, kickboxing and mixed-martial arts is now considering reducing their fee schedule as a possible way to attract larger events, such as the UFC, understanding the increased revenue they are missing out on.
The state Athletic Commission currently charges a minimum of $3,000. That would remain the same under the new proposal. The fee for contests that gross more than $60,000 of revenue could be reduced to 3% of the gross, from the current 5%, and could be capped at $300,000. There currently is no upper limit.
Jennifer Stalley, the commission’s executive director said that the 30 shows that the commission has overseen brought about $265,000 to the commission; for comparison, at 3% they would have generated about $180,800. She put current UFC events such as UFC 251 in “the millions” at the 5% rate.
“I don’t think we could lose any money by doing this,” Michael Kilmer, the commission’s chairman, said. He added, “It gives us some leeway to motivate some other events to take place.”