On Monday, council denied a request from Vernon’s athletic commission to sanction a mixed martial arts event in Cranbrook. It has also stated it will not support any future sanctioning outside of Vernon.
“The risk isn’t worth it,” said Coun. Patrick Nicol.
“It seems like an added risk we don’t need and we should focus on the ability to host them here.”
Professional fights can only occur if they are sanctioned by a governing body that oversees issues like security and insurance.
The City of Vernon is one of a handful of communities in B.C. allowed to sanction such events under provincial legislation.
“We are the only jurisdiction that has ever done this and has the experience to do this,” said Kevin Bertles, finance manager, of overseeing events in other jurisdictions.
Vernon’s athletic commission sanctioned an event in Trail in 2007, while promoters in Cranbrook were planning for a MMA event during Sam Steele Days June 17.
Another application for sanctioning was pending from Salmon Arm.
Coun. Jack Gilroy, who is a member of the athletic commission, believes the city should sanction MMA events in other communities.
“The commission is helping out another community,” said Gilroy, who was absent from council Monday.
“The other city takes care of all of the costs and the liability.”
The 2007 competition in Trail was not a money-maker for Vernon.
“The promoter fees and fighter fees were paid to the city as if the fight had occurred here. There was no extra in terms of the city receiving fees,” said Bertles.
In 2007, Vernon council at that time adopted a motion not supporting the athletic commission sanctioning any further events in jurisdictions within B.C. or Canada.
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star
Published: April 13, 2011 1:00 AM