As a resident of Greater Vancouver, nothing annoys me more than the false idea that the city of Vancouver is interested in hosting MMA events within the city limits. Two UFC events, UFC 115 and UFC 131, have taken place in GM Place. This is true. But the UFC has had to deal with unreasonable demands from the city all the way throughout the process, whether it was asking the promotion to provide ridiculous amounts of insurance, or telling them to pay for an increased police presence, or just plain not supporting the idea in the first place. And to the shock of approximately no one, Tom Wright says the UFC probably won't be coming back to Vancouver in 2012 (via the Canadian Press):
And the disappointing thing for our sport is that after a two-year test period, they've had two tests -- ours," Wright said Wednesday. "Because no other promotion could afford the indemnification or the insurance costs or the other things -- or actually have the perseverance to get an event to be held there.
"Will we go back to Vancouver in time? Yeah. Will it be next year? I doubt it."
The two-year test he's referring to was the city's way of trying to make some coin while not actually passing any real laws. They knew it was up to the provincial government to deal with this sort of thing, so they passed this "test period" to get the UFC into town while avoiding any real push for legislation, and despite their unreasonable demands, the UFC obliged them. Twice. No one else could afford to run shows in the city, and that was by design.
I could write a novel on the situation, but the basic point for Pacific Northwest MMA fans is that UFC isn't coming back to Vancouver any time soon. And with good reason. Should Vancouver be happy and feel lucky they've hosted two UFC events? Maybe. I'm sure New Yorkers aren't feeling much sympathy for us right now. But the fact that the city (and the province) doesn't understand what it's dealing with and despite two passes through the city, it still doesn't get it. They're more concerned with the almightly buck than cultivating anything resembling a sports culture in the city. And they wonder why they're forced to fend off riots.