FARMINGTON -- City leaders have begrudgingly given local consent for a temporary beer license for a mixed martial arts event to be held June 1 at the Legacy Events Center.
But they don't think the event reflects well on the culture of their community and hope to have discussions with Davis County officials about such events at the county facility in the future.
The temporary license requires local consent, which the council gave by unanimous vote, after being told it had little choice in the matter, because the event meets existing guidelines. The center is located on the city's west side at 151 S. 1100 West.
Approval or not, city officials made it clear they're not thrilled about an event being billed as "SteelFist Fight Night" in their community.
City Manager Dave Millheim referred to the event as "rednecks, alcohol and a chain link fence."
"It's not something that reflects well the culture of our community, but it does meet all the requirements of the ordinance," Millheim said.
Councilman Jim Talbot suggested future talks with the county should include advice on standards for what the center should host. He said the MMA event sets a standard lower than the center has hosted before.
"We need to be sure they are smart how they lease their property," Talbot said.
Millheim maintains city leaders value their relationship with the county, but worry about some coordination issues between the two entities.
He suggests county plans to develop a park near the center may mean the center may be too close to a public area to potentially qualify for a temporary beer license for any event in the future. State guidelines limit issuing a beer license within 600 feet of a school, church, library, playground or park.
"When they develop a park we owe it to them to say a lot of their events will not qualify," Millheim said of local consent.
In a letter to the city outlining the event, promoter Kevin Patton described MMA as the fastest-growing sport in the nation. He said the event will be sanctioned by the Utah State Athletic Commission and will be held in a "fun, but safe environment for everyone."
Patton said security will be a key part of the event plans and alcohol sales will be confined to two areas of the arena. He said he plans to have one or two identification and wrist-banding stations where people will be required to show ID and prove they are of age. There, they will be given a 21+ wristband, which will allow them to potentially buy alcohol.
Security at the event will include six security people and two off-duty officers, Patton said.
Similar events have been held in Layton and Ogden.