Fighters at a “We love MMA” event in Germany in 2017. (Photo: Sven Mandel/wikimedia.org)

CITY COUNCIL

Pro MMA fight ban considered in Surrey

Proposed bylaw would not prohibit professional or amateur boxing, among other pursuits

Surrey is looking to ban professional mixed marital arts (MMA) fights from city limits.

Council moved to draft a proposed Surrey Professional Mixed Martial Arts Events Bylaw during a public hearing on Feb. 24, with responses sought until March 20.

Last August, the city received a request from an organizer to host a MMA fight at a city facility, according to a report before the council.

“This represents the first time that the City has received such a request since 2013,” the report notes. “The City’s long-standing position on this issue is that Surrey does not support hosting professional MMA events that are regulated by the Office of the BC Athletic Commissioner.”

The full report from Rob Costanzo, General Manager of Corporate Services, is posted to surrey.ca, along with the proposed bylaw.

The bylaw would not prohibit “professional or amateur boxing, sports entertainment wrestling (where the outcome is predetermined), traditional (i.e. Greco-Roman) wrestling, single martial arts (such as karate or kung fu), or events that are held by and primarily for students who are enrolled in mixed martial arts classes offered through licensed recreational facilities, gyms or schools,” the report says.

• RELATED STORY, from 2017: MMA all the way: UFC dream comes true for Surrey’s Jeremy Kennedy.

As background, Costanzo notes that prior to 2013, B.C. municipalities were responsible to have their own athletic commissioners to regulate combat sporting events.

“Many municipalities across B.C., including Surrey, chose not to host such sporting events,” he wrote. “In this regard, a B.C. municipality could refuse hosting an event within their respective municipal jurisdiction simply by choosing not to enact their own athletic commissioner.”

In 2013, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture created the Office of the B.C. Athletic Commissioner as the regulatory body for combat sporting events in the province, including professional boxing, professional and amateur MMA, amateur kickboxing, amateur Muay Thai and amateur pankration.

The move eliminated the requirement for municipalities to have their own athletic commissioner to regulate combat sporting events, “since regulation of these events is now the responsibility of the Province,” Costanzo reported.

“Accordingly, cities that do not support the hosting of combat sports events within their respective municipal boundaries are required to enact a bylaw that specifically precludes these sporting venues from taking place both in municipally owned and privately-owned facilities.”

Concerns or comments about Surrey’s proposed bylaw can be mailed or sent to city hall, by fax (604-501-7578) or email (clerks@surrey.ca) no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

• RELATED: Fighters not swayed by risk of head trauma in combat sports like boxing and MMA.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Pro sports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 2: Six new COVID-19 deaths: provincial health officer

Thousands of ‘PPE’ donated in Surrey, where one care home is ‘preparing for the worst’

SafeCare BC’s Operation Protect drive involves drop-off dates in Guildford

Psychologist’s advice on parenting in the pandemic

SFU psychology prof Dr. Tanya Broesch, with expertise in child development, discusses short and long-term impacts COVID-19 pandemic is having on children and parents alike

‘Shocking decision’: Surrey soccer club won’t offer refunds to 350 teams for cancelled tourney

Registration fees would top $171K for Surrey Mayor’s Cup, called off due to COVID-19

Bayside rugby director makes pitch for season shift

Andy Blackburn suggests COVID-19 cancellation could be impetus for BC Rugby change

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Abbotsford man who tries to start gas-station fight gets sprayed with gasoline

Suspect returns with knife and throws it at victim, but is quickly arrested by police

Abbotsford family of 5 who was stuck in Vietnam is now back home

Janzen family sends ‘huge and heartfelt’ thank you to everyone who helped

Most Read

l -->