NSW Labor leader to put millions towards UFC Sydney if elected

Las Vegas, NV, USA - October 31, 2021: The UFC headquarters complex in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

NSW opposition leader Chris Minns has said he will bring three UFC pay-per-view (PPV) events to the state in his first term if successful at the upcoming state election.

The state government recently created a ‘significant event fund’, which in 2022 had a $200 million annual budget and Minns is onboard to spend $16 million to secure three PPV UFC events in the harbour city, believing it will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the state.

Minns, who has been in discussion with the UFC for six months said “it brings entertainment, jobs, tourism dollars, enhances Sydney’s sporting reputation, and showcases our state to the world,” noting that interstate and international travellers make up 45 per cent of attendees at Australian UFC events on average.

“You will see people flying in from around the world into NSW to watch wonderful fighters like Alexander (Volkanovski) and the rest of them.”

NSW’s recent big spend on sporting tourism was the revamp of the Sydney Football Stadium. (iStock – Steven Tritton)

UFC 243 in Melbourne generated $121 million in economic activity, $57m in wages paying for 922 full-time equivalent jobs and more than 26,000 room night bookings.

“So this is not just a big win for UFC fans, it’s a massive opportunity for the NSW economy,” Minns said.

Minns’ drive signifies an ongoing battle between states for superiority on the national and global sporting stage.

“We all know how passionate NSW is about sport. And I want to make sure we attract more major events right here in New South Wales,” the NSW Labor leader said.

Victoria is hard to pass when it comes to spending tourism dollars on big events, notably Formula 1 racings Australian Grand Prix which it ‘stole’ of Adelaide over 20 years ago as well as hosting other major tournaments such as the Australian Open and recently sponsoring the women’s national netball team.

Tourism Western Australia has a fresh new toy to play with in Optus stadium and it hasn’t missed out, scoring multiple State Of Origin matches and its RAC arena will host the next Australian based UFC card.

It is unknown where the proposed UFC Sydney events would take place at this stage.

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