Soldotna enters contract with one mixed martial arts promoter

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Thursday, July 23, 2015 9:35pm
  • News

“6 or 5 Times Productions” has been chosen as the sole promoter for Mixed Martial Arts competitions to be held at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex for at least one year.

The five members at Wednesday’s Soldotna City Council meeting unanimously approved the resolution that entered the city into an immediate contract with the company, but not without reservations.

Council Member Pete Sprague proposed an amendment limiting the initial timeframe to one year, with the option to extend for a second. The original resolution included a two-year contract with the option to extend.

“I am just a little uncomfortable with the two-year time period. I think two years is too long,” Sprague said.

“I would like to try it for a year, and there is the option to extend for a year. But a one-year window is a lot more palatable.”

Sprague’s amendment passed unanimously.

Council Member Keith Baxter said he felt misgivings even about the revised resolution. He said he saw potential for a “different, more preferable outcome,” which could have allowed for more coordinated scheduling among the different entities looking to host events.

“It doesn’t disallow any partnership between entities that expressed interest in partnering, during our public hearings,” Baxter said. “I will be voting yes.”

Baxter also noted that the city went through a public Request for Proposal bidding process, through which each applicant was scored, and “6 or 5 Times Productions,” ranked highest.

“It’s a public facility, (and) all stakeholders in the public were given access to the RFP process,” Baxter said.

Wednesday’s decision was ‘unfinished business” from the July 8 meeting.

“Conflicts between promoters, dates, availability, and community attendance have created a burden on the City in the past,” according to the resolution.

It was “administratively decided” that the city only wanted to work with one promoter at a time, said City Manager Mark Dixson, according to the July 8 meeting minutes.

Dixson also said at the July 8 meeting that bringing the resolution before the council was in the interest of transparency. The decision was delayed until the July 22 meeting because the city attorney was consulted on legal consequences of the council’s decision.

Dixson said the if the council votes down the resolution he may legally still approve the sole promoter.

“The city may reject any and all proposals if the city manager determines it is in the best interest of the city, and that could be done before or after the passage or the declination of the resolution,” Dixson said

Council Member Linda Murphy said she was displeased the council was asked to make a decision on sole promotion at all.

“I just don’t like being put in this position of having to make a decision on an item that our employee can then override,” Murphy said. “I would hope this doesn’t come back to us, or this sort of thing doesn’t come back to us in the future, but I will be supporting the resolution as amended.”

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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