Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, said Tuesday that a vote on legalizing Mixed Martial Arts could finally be coming to the Assembly floor as early as Monday of next week.
“I urge my colleagues to support the bill that would finally make this sport legal in New York. With this bill’s passage, our state can begin to reap the economic benefits we’ve been missing out on and our athletes can finally play the home game. For too long our state has missed out on the tremendous economic opportunities that come with professional MMA,” said Santabarbara, who helped bring an amateur MMA event to the Schenectady Armory last fall. “I’m confident that will change after next week’s vote, and the fans, and tourism dollars, will stop leaving our state for MMA events.”
Santabarbara continued, "Nearly 1,000 people filled the Armory when we brought amateur MMA to Schenectady, and after the event, the city saw a tremendous economic boost from those who came for MMA and stayed for Downtown Schenectady. If we can see this kind of impact with an amateur event in an upstate city, imagine what we can do statewide with professional competitions.
“There's momentum building in Schenectady. We're already seeing job growth and new businesses as a result of the casino being built at Mohawk Harbor, and I expect our city and the entire upstate region to take full advantage of the economic opportunities when MMA is legalized.
“With the success we’ve had with amateur MMA in Schenectady, we’ve possibly paved the way for the first professional upstate MMA venue right here in the Capital Region. I’m confident that after next week’s expected vote, professional MMA will finally become a reality in New York, with the possibility of hosting professional MMA events before the end of the year and bringing the economic dollars that come with it.”