By Ryan Busuttil:
Take note New York! The UFC’s upcoming event inCalgary, Alberta, Canada will generate up to $20 million for the city, according to an article on the Calgary Herald’s website, Calgaryherald.com.
While speaking at a luncheon at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Tom Wright, the UFC’s Director of Canadian Operations, stated that the July 21st event at The Saddledome will financially benefit the city because of the people that the UFC will be bringing to the event and the fans that will travel toCalgary to watch the event. “The multiplier effect of our events like restaurants, hotels, taxis, bars is always significant because what’s interesting is that there’s a large contingent of our fans that travel from event to event to event” said Wright. This is the first UFC event in Calgary, which has hosted events inVancouver, Montreal and Toronto.
As seen at last year’s record-breaking UFC event in Toronto,Canada is a hot bed for MMA, with 6 Canadian events ranking among the all-time top gates in UFC history. Toronto benefitted somewhere in the $35-$40 million range from UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre. The Saddledome can hold between 19,000 and 20,000 people. Members of Calgary’s Chamber of Commerce and Tourism department expressed excitement at possible influx of tourists coming to see the event, which takes place the week after the Calgary Stampede.
According to Wright, tickets for the event are expected to go on sale on May 10th to UFC Fight Club members, May 11th to UFC Newsletter members and May 12th to the general public.
It’s frustrating for myself, a New Yorker, to see how much financial benefit UFC events have on all the cities they take place in when Madison Square Garden, the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” is in my own backyard. Here’s hoping to legalization of MMA in NY this year so that the city can get some much needed economic help and of course some great fights.
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