the next dictator of MLSE
fresh and clean
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: uʍop ɹǝpun
UFC planning November show in Boston; New York and Toronto in early 2010 Friday, April 17 2009
A trio of new host cities will get Ultimate Fighting Championship events later this year or in early 2010 if Dana White gets his way.
The UFC president, apparently confident that legislation will be in place in time, has targeted Boston, New York City and Toronto for upcoming UFC shows.
White laid out the plans during today's UFC 97 pre-event press conference.
White, born and raised near Boston, has long publicly shared his interest in taking the UFC to the state, a hotbed for MMA that has hosted a past tryout for "The Ultimate Fighter." However, despite the sport's popularity in the state, and though some events are held in the state, Massachusetts does not currently regulate MMA.
UFC officials are involved in the political push, though, and regulation is considered likely very soon.
"I'm pretty confident we're going to do an event in Boston, Mass., at the Boston Garden in November," White said.
The Garden, formally known as the TD Banknorth Garden, is home to the NBA's Boston Celtics and NHL's Boston Bruins and can accommodate nearly 20,000 spectators.
Although Boston boasts a population of about 610,000 (making it the 21st largest city in the U.S.), its greater metro area includes nearly five million people, making it potentially one of the most lucrative markets available to the UFC.
However, bigger even than Boston is New York City. The UFC has been on the frontlines in the fight to get MMA sanctioned in the state of New York, though a few (but vocal) opponents have provided hurdles. Still, most are optimistic that legislation will pass and the state, the third most populous in the country (19.5 million residents), will begin MMA regulation by year's end.
White and Co. are ready to capitalize once the doors open. The same goes for Toronto, which is Canada's most populous city with 2.5 million residents (and 5.6 million in the metro area).
"The first of the year, (we want to do a show in) New York, and I'm hoping we have Toronto done before New York," White said.
White's ultimate goal is to host a NYC event at the legendary Madison Square Garden, a 20,000-seat arena in the heart of the city. However, since arriving in Canada on Wednesday, fans have been adamant that Toronto could do even better.
"The people up here tell me, 'If you go to Toronto, you could do 60,000 seats,'" White said. "People tell me crazy stuff about going to Toronto.”
"As fast as we sell out here (in Montreal), maybe we could do 30,000 in Toronto." (source Dann Stupp, MMAjunkie.com)