Sportsmen’s Lodge fire forces venue change for some upcoming boxing and MMA events

Due to a fire at the Sportsmen’s Lodge Event Center in Studio City, Bash Boxing has moved their February 8 event scheduled for the venue and will likely move March 9’s CXF MMA event. The boxing event is moving to Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, and will now be taking place on February 16. CXF 17: March Madness will likely move to Florentine Gardens as well but without a date change.

On January 15, 2019, there was an electrical fire in the kitchen of the Sportsmen’s Lodge Events Center. According to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department, 57 firefighters began extinguishing the blaze just after 2:00 a.m., and a partial knock down was declared at 4:06 a.m. The fire extended into the 2nd floor and the fire department had to open walls to get access to the fire traveling through the ventilation system. Arson investigators were called to the scene and the fire remains under investigation.

The venue classified the fire as minor and that no one was hurt, but they had to get power approved, the sprinkler system approved, and the fire marshal and health department have to give them the OK in order to have guests, serve food, or open the bar. They also emphasized that fire affected only the events center and not the hotel.

Bash Boxing contacted the Sportsman’s Lodge on the day after the fire and was told that it was “being fixed as we speak” and they should be up and running “shortly.” The venue then went silent and did not respond to any requests for updates for two weeks. Bash Boxing says they were finally contacted three days ago the Sales Manager for the Events Center by e-mail and were told she “had no answers and the situation was making all of them crazy.” She also told them that they were still trying to get the power and sprinklers approved as well as approval by the health department and fire marshals.

The next day Bash Boxing was contacted by the Director of Operations at Sportsmen’s Lodge and were told “the Sales Manager had resigned as of that morning” and the approvals and repairs that they need to reopen the venue may take “a few days or weeks” and the situation appeared to be in the hands of “Corporate” and an insurance adjuster.

At that point, Bash Boxing decided to move venues and tried to locate a venue in the local area to hold their event on the same date. They were unable to secure a suitable venue for February 8, and they did locate a venue they could use on February 9, but the California State Athletic Commission already had several shows to oversee on February 9 and could not add another show on this date.

With the lack of a suitable venue on February 8 unavailability of the California State Athletic Commission on February 9, Bash Boxing’s event was postponed to February 16 and moved to Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, CA. This will mark the first time Bash Boxing has ever canceled or postponed a show in the promotions over ten-year history. Their February 16 event has been named Hollywood Fight Night: We Didn’t Start the Fire.

When asked about the status of CXF 17: March Madness, Steven Bash, the president and CEO of Bash Boxing (who also promotes CXF), said that “there is a good chance that CXF moves to Hollywood on the same date.” The decision on the venue for the CXF event will likely be finalized next week.

The promotion will be using the same seating chart at the new venue, and previously purchased tickets will be honored at the door for the exact same seat location. The promotion is offering refunds due to the change if requested as well.

The Sportsmen’s Lodge property has been in use under different names since the 1880s. Known for its trout fishing lake, with the opening of nearby movie studios in the early part of the last century it became a popular hangout for movie stars of the time. John Wayne reportedly taught his kids to fish there. The venue has held various boxing events throughout the years and has hosted MMA events since at least 2014.

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Steve Bryant
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