August 4, 2011

UFC Event on Aug. 6 Expected to Boost Philadelphia Regional Economy

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission expects a major Ultimate Fighting Championship event on Aug. 6 will generate millions of dollars in regional and state economic benefits.

The Rashard Evans vs. Tito Ortiz bout will headline the UFC card Saturday at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia's UFC event, combined with a similar event at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center June 26, could generate between $6 million and $8 million in total economic activity, based on a study of similar events in New York. Attendance in Pittsburgh exceeded projections by 3 percent.

"With these two well-known fighters in the main event, we project ticket sales for Philadelphia to total about 12,000," said Greg Sirb, executive director of the State Athletic Commission. The commission, which oversees boxing, mixed martial arts and professional wrestling in Pennsylvania, is part of the Department of State.

Sirb has promoted Pennsylvania for UFC events since the sport was legalized here in 2009. He believes Pennsylvania is the first state other than Nevada to attract two UFC events in the same summer. If these dates are successful, Sirb expects more UFC bouts and their overnight visitors will come to Pennsylvania in the future.

"Hotels, restaurants, bars, and other service businesses near the venue will see large increases in business," Sirb said. Estimated ticket sales of 12,000 would be expected to generate between $4 million and $5 million for Philadelphia's economy; the 7,000 attendees projected for Pittsburgh were expected to mean between $2 million and $3 million for that area.

The State Athletic Commission receives no state General Fund tax money and is totally self-supportive through a 5 percent tax on gate receipts of sanctioned events and various license fees. Over the past 10 years, the commission has returned more than $1.5 million to the state's General Fund. Money from the UFC events will help insure proper oversight for all sports the commission oversees, including amateur boxing, in which many young athletes compete.

Media contact: Ron Ruman, 717-783-1621

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of State