Sports

MMA Officially Debuts In Connecticut With CES MMA 55

The State’s first sanctioned mixed martial art (MMA) match will take place at the Connecticut Convention Center on Friday, March 29.

Recognized as one of the premier facilities in the Northeast for hosting tradeshows, conventions, and corporate meetings, the Connecticut Convention Center (CTCC) enters a new era, welcoming CES MMA 55, featuring renowned local fan-favorites alongside some of the region’s rising stars. Hartford native and UFC flyweight contender Matt Bessette, along with New Britain’s Parker Porter, and Manchester native William Knight, bring local flavor to an already exciting event.

Tickets are available at www.ctconventions.com, www.cesmma.com, or by calling 401-724-2253.

“It was a coordinated effort across several organizations to secure the multi-card promotion, starting with facility leadership and administration, the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), state government officials, and the promotional company,” states Mike Costelli, the CTCC’s general manager. “We have been working with Jimmy Burchfield and CES MMA for many years in trying to make this a reality.”

CES MMA, based in Providence, Rhode Island, has worked with the CTCC on boxing promotions in the past and is now the first MMA company licensed by the State of Connecticut.

In the realm of sports, the CTCC has been the home of the Northeast Regional Volleyball Association Winterfest for ten consecutive years, and is under contract through 2024. In 2021, the event will expand from two weekends to three, welcoming thousands of high school and prep volleyball players from across New England.

“We are constantly striving to evolve and seek out new and exciting opportunities,” stated Costelli. “Not only are we looking forward to bringing in more MMA events, but continuing to serve as an economic generator for the State of Connecticut across the board.”

The state-owned building, managed by Waterford Venue Services, has 540,000 square feet of customizable space, including a 140,000 square feet of Exhibit Hall, a 40,000 square foot ballroom, 19 breakout rooms, and 25,000 square feet of pre-function space. The Connecticut Convention Center is a full-service facility including an in-house chef and full-time maintenance and sales staff. For more information on the Connecticut Convention Center, visit ctconventions.com.

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