No Cage Fights at Woodward Park

February 25, 2009 12:01:44 AM PST
Two mixed martial arts contests drew big crowds to the amphitheatre in Woodward Park last year. Even Fresno's Mayor at the time, Alan Autry enjoyed it. "We've got a super turnout here at the beautiful amphitheatre here at Woodward Park and it's been a great night so far." Autry said at the first event in August.

But three months later, after the election the City's New Mayor, Ashley Swearengin had a different view.

"I just think it's a conflict with the intent of the park and the open space, and I think we need to be in alignment with what the intent of those facilities are." She said.

Despite that, Promoter Rick Mirigian had planned two more "Rumble in the Park Events." But, under the new administration, Assistant City Manager Bruce Rudd is making it clear things have changed.

"The promoter had indicated they were interested but we told them that was an administrative decision and that we weren't going to be hosting any, or allowing any Mixed Martial Arts events this year at Woodward Park." Rudd said.

Mirigian is upset.

"If you can give me a reason why, I may agree with you, but I'm just asking for a reason, since I followed all the city guidelines pulled off two very large events which were the two biggest moneymakers for the city at the park I am told, and furthermore I adhered to every guideline." He said.

Rudd says the events just didn't pencil out for the city, and says the events would be welcome at another city owned location like the Selland Arena downtown.

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