The state of Texas will begin to allow combat sports promotions to submit licensure requests to host events with a limited live audience, according to a report from MMA Junkie.
The announcement marks the first time since March that Texas would be accepting such requests, effectively allowing combat sports events (including MMA) to resume in the state with the stipulation that the audience would be limited to 50 percent of the event’s normal capacity. MMA Junkie obtained a document from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) that outlined the protocol that organizations would have to follow:
“Promoters must submit their own operational plan to TDLR and to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The operational plan must detail the promoter’s plans for daily COVID-19 screenings, providing protective equipment and staffing, as well as cleaning and disinfecting the event venue and athlete delegation housing.
“When deciding whether to allow an event to proceed, TDLR will monitor factors including positive test rates and hospitalization rates in the area where the event is scheduled. If there’s a localized spike in cases, the agency may cancel an event any time up to the beginning of the bouts.”
While major combat sports events like those held by the UFC have been held in Nevada during the pandemic, live audiences haven’t been permitted. This development in Texas opens the door for the UFC and other promotions to once again operate with a live audience. The TDLR is planning for a gradual reinstatement of events and is currently trying to avoid scheduling multiple events on the same night.