Fredericton to consider holding combat sport events in municipal facilities

Fredericton city council will consider a request to host combat sport events at municipally owned facilities.

It's one of the items on the agenda at Monday night's council-in-committee meeting.

In a staff report to council, sport tourism coordinator Bobby Despres said the city has received a request to host a combat sport event at Willie O'Ree Place – a municipally owned facility.

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

Despres said two boxing events have been held in the city at the Aitken Centre since the 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."

The recommendation council will consider Monday night would permit these types of events at Willie O'Ree Place, Grant-Harvey Centre, Lady Beaverbrook Arena, York Arena, Fredericton Convention Centre and Marysville Heritage Centre.

City staff said promoters must have liability insurance of $5 million to be granted a license from the Combat Sport Commission of New Brunswick, which regulates the industry.

Because the city's liability insurance does not protect event participants, staff are recommending that organizers carry additional liability insurance of between $2 million and $5 million.