Local News

Fight Club use of Civic Center challenged

About four years after the first attempt to stop Ketchikan Fight Club from using the city-owned Ted Ferry Civic Center, some officials are bringing the topic up again.

During its meeting Thursday, the Ketchikan City Council will consider a motion barring the popular boxing and mixed martial arts competition from staging events at the civic center.

Council Member Bob Sivertsen requested that the item be placed on the meeting agenda.

“One of the reasons why is we’ve had some issues in the past up there in regards to clean up and some issues we’ve had with inebriates,” he said. “I just think it’s the wrong venue for our Ted Ferry Civic Center. I don’t have any problem with the Fight Club itself, I just think it’s being held in the wrong place.”

Sivertsen said the issues aren’t new. He detailed some of the problems that have been noted by Civic Center employees, including intoxicated people wandering into the wrong bathrooms, and beer or blood on the center’s carpeting.

“I think we had an issue where they used a tarp that was moldy, and the mold got imbedded in the carpet and it took hours to get that cleaned up,” he said. “It’s not one instance, it’s a compiling of a number of incidents that makes us need to take a look at it.”

In a memo to the Council, Civic Center Manager Rhonda Bolling offers some suggestions if the city continues to allow the Fight Club to use the center. They include purchase by the city of tarps that the Civic Center would store and place before each Fight Club event. Bolling estimates that the tarps will cost $5,000 to $10,000.

She also suggests additional fees for cleaning beer or blood, and to pay for additional staff needed to maintain the bathrooms. She’d also like additional private security guards provided by the Fight Club organizers.

Also Thursday, the Council will discuss what to do about the Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery, which has been operated for many years by Ketchikan Indian Community.

KIC announced earlier this year that it planned to close the hatchery because it loses money each year. Tribe officials suggested that a subsidy, perhaps through the state cruise head tax, would help keep it open.

The Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.

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