S.D. fighting panel cuts fees for bigger events

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — State government’s group that regulates boxing, kickboxing and mixed-martial arts in South Dakota has decided to change its fee schedule. The Athletic Commission hopes the reductions can help entice promoters to pick South Dakota for larger events.

The commission currently charges a minimum of $3,000. That won’t change. What would go down is the fee for contests that gross more than $60,000 of revenue. That would be cut to 3% of the gross, from the current 5%. There also will be a fee cap of $300,000. There wasn’t an upper limit before.

The commission voted 4-0 Friday to restructure the fees and to repeal a list of duplicative competition rules. The changes go to the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee for a final decision.

No one sent written comments about the changes, commission vice-chair Lee Lohff of Sioux Falls said. No one came forward to comment during a teleconference public hearing.

The commission discussed the proposal July 10. That day Jennifer Stalley, the commission’s executive secretary, said UFC looked at bringing a mega-event to South Dakota but eventually held the competition off-shore. She said it could have been worth millions of dollars for the commission.

Since the March arrival of COVID-19 in South Dakota, the commission has overseen some spectator-less events in Sioux Falls that were shown on subscriber TV. Stalley said Friday there aren’t any more commission-sanctioned events scheduled in South Dakota this year.

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