Professional combative sports will now only be allowed on the Saskatchewan side, following City Councils repeal of the Combative Sports Commission Bylaw.
During the council meeting, there was a public hearing in which Garrett Tepper, the owner of The Fight Farm, spoke to council in favour of the repeal.
“The commission that was in place was actually not helping anybody in anyway. It definitely wasn’t protecting the fighters, wasn’t protecting the city, nor the promoters.”
Tepper adds, “I hope they reinstate another proper commission. That’s something that I want to work towards, assembling a team of people that are qualified and understand all aspects of the sport.”
If a new commission was put in place Tepper says there is a few things the City would need to look at.
“Following proper guidelines, keeping in touch with other commissions, making sure everything is up to date, whether it’s medicals and fighter records and stuff like that, doing background checks not just with the fighters but with different promotions trying to bring events into the town. That’s how you regulate it.”
City Council is looking to the Alberta government to put in a provincial governing body.
“We’re going to be discussing with other urban municipalities especially how we move this forward. Hopefully with the Government of Alberta taking the lead in an act. If that doesn’t happen, the mayors of those communities will likely try to convene and discuss this very issue; it’s in the best interest of the citizens, the athletes and the communities. We don’t want to put ourselves at risk, both with safety or financially from a liability perspective,” says Aalbers.
Tepper says, “when you have a provincial [governing body] then there’s no guess work involved. If you do a city one, it’s going to take some work but either route they decide to go with I think they’re both good. If you do a local one, it’s going to be a little bit more geared towards Lloydminster but an Alberta wide blanketed one will be okay too.”
The bylaw was first put into place in 2010. Amateur sports fall under a different law and won’t be impacted by this decision.