Source says UFC event at GM Place is off
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, March 29, 2010 2:16PM PDT
A planned UFC show in Vancouver in June is on the ropes, apparently due to insurance and other issues.
A source told The Canadian Press that the show has been called off and the mixed martial arts promoter is looking at Cincinnati as a possible replacement city.
The UFC has not officially announced the Vancouver card, other than to say that it planned to go there in June. The show had been pegged for June 15 at GM Place.
UFC president Dana White said he could not comment on any issues affecting Vancouver. But a second source said the two sides had yet to resolve insurance and other indemnification matters.
While the UFC has convinced more than 40 U.S. states to create or amend legislation sanctioning the sport, the situation in Canada is far murkier.
The Criminal Code offers an exemption of sorts to boxing but not mixed martial arts and that apparently is the sticking point in Vancouver, where the city wants adequate protection in terms of insurance.
Across the country, there is a hodgepodge of provinces and jurisdictions that permit the sport. Vancouver was one of them until city council withdrew its support while the matter was studied further.
In December, Vancouver city councillors voted six to three to approve a two-year trial period for MMA, opening the door for a UFC show that could generate millions for the local economy.
But under the pilot program, promoters must ensure the city can't be held liable for damages.
Maximum Fighting Championship, an Edmonton-based promoter, said at the time that insurance costs could be a problem.
"Smaller promotions may still be out of luck as they will have to purchase enough insurance to indemnify the City of Vancouver from any liabilities," the MFC said in a statement. "There is no idea how much insurance would be required. The City Manager will determine the appropriate amount."
The UFC has already held two successful shows in Montreal and is pressing to have Ontario sanction the sport.
Cincinnati served as host to UFC 77 in October 2007.