Fredericton allows combat sports in municipally owned facilities

Fredericton city council has given the green light to host combat sporting events at municipally owned facilities.

The resolution was passed unanimously at Monday night's regular council meeting.

Council previously passed a resolution to allow events like judo, karate, Taekwondo and wrestling in the city, but only at non-municipally owned facilities.

The change means these types of events could be held at Willie O'Ree Place, the Grant-Harvey Centre, Lady Beaverbrook Arena, York Arena, the Fredericton Convention Centre and the Marysville Heritage Centre.

In a staff report to council, sport tourism coordinator Bobby Despres said the city received a request to host a combat sporting event at Willie O'Ree Place, but did not provide any other details.

Despres said two boxing events have been held in the city – at the Aitken Centre – since the initial resolution was passed in July 2015.

"Both have been very well received as both events have averaged 3500 spectators per event," he said. "As part of the Sport Tourism mandate, critical mass events like these are economic drivers in the community as both travellers from away and residents of the Greater Fredericton Area use their expendable income in the city, while enjoying an evening of sports entertainment."

Event organizers will be required to have liability insurance of $5 million to be granted a license from the Combat Sport Commission of New Brunswick, which regulates the industry.