Fists may soon be flying at the Penhold Multiplex.
Mayor Dennis Cooper hopes by tweaking its combative sports bylaw and forming a new commission, promoters will bring their fighters to the small town to duke it out.
Cooper said the town’s Multiplex is a great venue with the space for a major combative sporting event like mixed martial arts, wrestling or boxing. With the UFC coming to Calgary this summer, Cooper hopes the event will attract promoters to Penhold.
“That’s what we’re hoping to see,” said Cooper. “We don’t have a date circled on the calendar. We’re hoping a promoter might come along and say we’d like to hold one in July or August or whatever.”
The Central Combative Sports Commission of Penhold oversees, regulates and controls events outside of its local jurisdiction and looks after the safety of the athletes. The four-person commission is made up of members including a council member to be added this year. Town council first approved the combative sports bylaw late last fall.
Charles Penner, a ring general who is in charge of the technical shows for the Central Combative Sports Commission, said Penhold would be a prime location for a competition because of its central location between Calgary and Edmonton and its proximity to Red Deer. Penner said there’s a large following of combative sports fans who make the drive from Edmonton to Calgary to watch competitions.
“So Penhold’s a great location,” he said. “The venue is spectacular. A lot of the smaller shows do dinner tables because it is more cost effective for them. With the arena there, they have the large floor service plus they also have the side seatings for general admissions.”
At its May meeting, town council approved the updated bylaw, which included updated names of organizations, commission structure, definitions, and procedures. In the last year, the commission has overseen two events in Red Deer. Two more events are slated for Aug. 25 and Dec. 14 in Red Deer.