Public Safety and Security Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6266

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING BOXING EVENTS AND MIXED MARTIAL ARTS MATCHES.

Vote Date:

3/15/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/21/2017

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Safety and Security Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill would provide new and more common language in regards to health insurance coverage for MMA competitors and insurance regulations would mirror boxing requirements and also what is currently used in MMA fights at casinos. It would also bring more jobs and revenue to host cities.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None Heard.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Bridgeport Elected Officials State Representative Ezequiel Santiago (D-130), State Representative Christopher Rosario (D-128) and Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim expressed support for this bill for its tax exemptions which would make their city more competitive for these events, language that provides insurance coverage for injuries suffered in MMA matches, and large revenue potential to the city of Bridgeport.

State Representative Douglas McCrory (D-7) supports this bill for its elimination of admission taxes and taxes paid by promotors, as well as for providing insurance to MMA competitors and bringing a better economy to host cities.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin submitted testimony in support of this bill to increase the types of events that come to Hartford's two large indoor venues and the revenue that comes with them to the city, as well as for providing insurance to MMA competitors.

Chris Lawrence, General Manager of XL Center and Pratt & Whitney Stadium supports this bill to add premiere events to his facilities and to grow revenue.

Michael Costelli, General Manager of the Connecticut Convention Center supports this bill for the insurance it would provide to competitors during the course of an MMA match as well as for increasing Hartford's profile as an entertainment destination.

Charlie Dowd, Sr. V.P. of Operations at Webster Bank Arena supports this bill for its employment opportunities that would bring job growth in his and area buildings in Bridgeport.

Jeff Novitzky, V.P. of Athlete Health and Performance at UFC supports this bill for its increasing safety standards and protocols within this martial arts organization and for the beneficial economic development and tax consequences for arenas and cities.

Michael Freimuth, Executive Director of CRDA, supports this bill for the estimated revenue it would bring to Connecticut each year.

Attorney Jeffrey Dressler, a member of the CT State Boxing Commission, supports this bill because it exempts the admission tax, requires event promotors to provide health insurance and death benefits to its competitors, and eliminates the payment of gross receipts tax for promotors.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Lori J. Pelletier, President of Connecticut AFL-CIO is opposed to this bill because it jeopardizes mixed martial artists health and safety by setting minimum standards on the level of care a promotor must provide to a competitor by setting in her view, a low ceiling.

Reported by: Juliana Simone

Date: 3/20/2017