Today’s resolution by Boston’s city council to ban minors from attending MMA events appears as though it won’t have much bearing on the UFC’s decision to return to “Beantown.”
In a response to the action, UFC officials pointed out that the resolution was non-binding and merely concluded that the city should follow existing state laws.
But, in a statement released today to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), officials blasted city council president Steve Murphy for drafting a document “filled with blatant inaccuracies and falsehoods.”
“The UFC organization finds it shocking that Councilor Murphy would present such a misleading document for consideration to the City Council,” the statement reads. “Councilor Murphy’s resolution demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about what mixed martial arts is, the amazing world class athletes that compete in the sport, and the many benefits it brings to a community.
“There is clearly a reason why MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Consequently, it is unfortunate that Councilor Murphy’s actions caused the Boston city council to be manipulated by a union based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We would hope that the City Council, once it learns the truth about MMA and all of the positive aspects of the sport, would consider revoking this non-binding resolution.”
Unanimously passed by the 13-member city council, the resolution says that MMA fans younger than 16 are banned from attending MMA shows unless accompanied by an adult. It also decries MMA’s violence and the misbehavior of athletes.
The Boston City Council has requested that a copy of the resolution be provided to the Boston Police Department and TD Garden management.
Officials said this past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 26, which took place at TD Garden, generated “millions of dollars in economic benefit for the community and cast the great city of Boston in a positive light.” The event drew a reported live gate of $1.53 million.
In interviews leading up to UFC Fight Night 26, UFC President Dana White attributed a series of difficulties in mounting the event to opposition from a Las Vegas-based culinary union. He said the union was after a potential $10 million windfall brought by unionizing the Station Casinos chain, which is owned by UFC executives Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta.
But after initially expressing doubts about returning to Boston, White said the UFC would return and said the negative actions were a net positive.
“They come in and they do stuff like this and it just makes everything bigger,” he said. “People that wouldn’t cover us here for this fight … everybody covered this fight because of what commissioner knucklehead was doing.”
For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 26, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
(Pictured: Dana White)