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Notebook: A golden weekend for California’s commission

By Zach Arnold | March 12, 2013

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To read all CSAC-related articles, dating back to May 2012, CLICK HERE.

“I wish it was this way every week.”

There have been a ton of shows happening in Southern California over the last couple of weeks. It’s been a hell of a deal in terms of revenue generated for Andy Foster & the California State Athletic Commission. Last weekend gave us a pretty good glimpse of activity:

With Chris Arreola’s fight pushed to April, it means another OC Fair event & HBO show = $ for the commission.

Right now, the ratio of events happening in So. Cal versus Nor. Cal is over a 75/25 split. On Friday, Brett Roberts (BAMMA) has a show at the Commerce Casino. Top Rank has a show this coming weekend at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Saturday. The only major event up North is the upcoming UFC San Jose event at HP Pavilion, which has a stacked card top-to-bottom and a very good box office advance. The downside, unfortunately, is that it’s yet another UFC event in California featuring a top fight with a top fighter (Frank Mir) who is a testosterone user.

So, on the money side, things are looking up for Andy Foster. Momentum may be short-term, but you can’t beat it.

Behind the scenes, however, the in-fighting has never been as bad as I can ever recall. A lot of the usual suspects involved — but now we’re seeing people who have been on the sidelines forever in the California scene starting to get involved because they see what is happening and are figuring out that the landscape is changing relatively quickly.

One of the big bones of contention from the regulars is that for all of the big shows in California, expect to see familiar faces like Big John McCarthy, Herb Dean, Jason Herzog, Dr. Paul Wallace, Mark Relyea (viewed as the top inspector in the state now), and others. Yes, some locals will be booked on shows based on location, but there will be definitely be a push to bring the top names throughout the state for shows. This has got a lot of the insider-types mad, especially given the way the Department of Consumer Affairs in Sacramento used travel budgets & out-of-area bookings as a political hammer to bludgeon George Dodd out of his job as Executive Officer.

As for the push back against the new direction, a supporter of the new CSAC administration put it this way.

“There’s a North Dakota and a South Dakota. There’s North Carolina & South Carolina. There isn’t a Northern California and Southern California. It’s California.”

While the reaction is justifiable, the problem is that the issue of Northern & Central California not having a lot of CSAC-regulated shows is a serious dilemma & challenge for Andy Foster. Look at how many fighters, such as Robert Guerrero & Nonito Donaire, are having the biggest fights of their careers happening outside of the state and not on home turf. Andre Ward is the only fighter having his big fights on home turf in Oakland and part of that is because Dan Goossen is a California-based promoter. When only 20-25% of your shows in a state are happening in a section of the state that has 75% of the land mass, you know there is an imbalance somewhere. It isn’t as if money can’t be made in the Bay Area and in areas like Fresno. We saw it happen years ago. Even with the Kings, the Sacramento area always used to have big fights at Arco Arena. The Cow Palace used to be a big attraction for independent shows. And now, it’s as if everyone has vanished for good. Given how strong the Bay Area is when it comes to supporting sports, the area’s disconnect from the fight game doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Some significant developments regarding the structure of the commission and lawsuits outstanding (and incoming) are expected to play out over the next month. The activity is just starting.

Topics: Boxing, CSAC, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Notebook: A golden weekend for California’s commission”

  1. RST says:

    Mir’s on trt now too?!

    I didn’t know that
    Lame

    Although Mir always was kind of obnoxious
    I probably should have expected it

    “There isn’t a Northern California and Southern California.”

    But there is

    Not politically
    But I’d guess thats its been colloquially accepted for at least a hundred years

    Probably at least in part do to the shape

    SoCal and NorCal are farther away from each other geographically then North Dakota or North Carolina are from South Dakota or Southern Carolina

    Almost exactly as far from each other as Colorado is to New Mexico

    The cultures have similarities but are very different Like a Wisconsin to an Illinois

    But I do understand that this is an issue of politics by politicians for politicians according to their own rules

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