Ontario Moves to Allow Mixed Martial Arts
McGuinty Government Focusing On Competitor Safety, Boosting Local Economies
Ontario is taking steps to allow professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events in the province.
The province would adopt the same rules for professional MMA that are widely used across North America. This announcement paves the way for the first regulated professional MMA event to be held in Ontario in 2011.
As MMA has grown in popularity throughout the world, many cities have reaped the economic rewards of hosting events. A major MMA event in Ontario could attract up to 30,000 fans and generate up to $6 million in local economic activity - everything from hotel rooms to restaurants and other stores and services.
While MMA events provide an economic benefit, Ontario's priority is the safety of the competitors. By regulating professional MMA Ontario could enhance the safety of all participants by ensuring explicit safety and medical standards are met at licensed events.
- Six Canadian jurisdictions and 46 American states currently allow MMA.
- At a 2008 professional MMA event in Montreal, online ticket sales indicate that 42% of ticket purchasers at the sold-out event were residents of Ontario
- New Jersey was the first US state to allow professional MMA events in 2000.
“Our government has been monitoring MMA for some time. We know that the sport has evolved and that Ontarians want to see it here. My goal is to make sure we have the tools to keep the competitors safe, and provide an economic boost to communities that want to host MMA events.”