Tuesday, August 11, 2009
A fight for revenues
Massachusetts legislators smell gold in what some critics refer to as a blood sport. The state senate recently passed a bill (34-1) that would regulate Mixed Martial Arts events more popularly known as 'Ultimate Fighting' And they of course, want a piece of the action.
UFC 101 sold out in Philadelphia last week--a notoriously loyal boxing city--drawing 17,411 spectators for a total gate of $3.55 million.
UFC President Dana White, a Connecticut resident but former Boston area gym rat and avowed Red Sex fan, is already talking about a UFC promotion at Fenway Park next year where upwards of 40,000 could be seated or possibly twice the total gate of the recent Philly event.
The state would get a 4% tax on total ticket sales and an additional 2% tax on TV revenues (capped at $75,000.)
Massachusetts lately has been getting more aggressive about regulating commercial physical activities: from Personal Trainers at health clubs to massage therapy licenses and now martial arts.
While I'm a BIG fan of President Reagan's small-government-is-good government paradigm, I still think when it comes to health and safety a little government regulation is a good thing.
The smoking ban in the workplace, legalizing abortion, and probably someday the marketing of marijuana, just to name a few.