Arum, HBO to Tour Cowboys Stadium
Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press writes that Bob Arum and HBO’s Ross Greenburg are set to tour the Cowboys Stadium, which is a candidate to host the boxing super fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather.
Promoters Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer were to tour the new Dallas Cowboy stadium along with HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg and listen to a proposal from Jones to host the fight, a person close to the promotion said.
Other leading contenders for the fight are the MGM Grand hotel arena in Las Vegas and the Superdome in New Orleans, said the person, who requested anonymity because both sides agreed not to speak publicly during negotiations.
Neither fighter has formally signed for the fight, though both have agreed in principle to terms. Promoters are so confident it will happen that they are also scouting sites in New York City for a Jan. 6 press conference to formally announce the bout.
Most major fights in recent decades have been in Las Vegas, and Pacquiao and Mayweather have fought their biggest fights at the MGM Grand, which seats about 16,000 for boxing. Many in boxing still consider the MGM to have the inside track on landing the fight, but the trip by promoters to Dallas indicates that they believe Jones will make a competitive bid.
The anticipated demand for the fight brings both the Cowboy stadium and Superdome into the equation because they can seat far more people. The Dallas stadium could hold 100,000 or more for a fight, including seats on the football field.
The biggest gate in boxing history was the $18.4 million in tickets sold for Mayweather’s 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya, and promoters believe they can get a bid of $20 million and more from one of the three contending sites.
Not only do Arum and HBO stand to earn a larger gate from holding the event in a dome, but the sheer size of the venue would help to communicate the magnitude of the fight to the general non-fight watching public. However, Dahlberg notes later in the piece that there may be some obstacles to holding the fight in Texas or New Orleans – chief among them that Mayweather trains out of Vegas and is comfortable there.
It’s rumoured that in order for the Cowboys Stadium to secure the fight they’d have to pay a rather large site fee (upwards of $15 million), and split the live gate revenue with the promotions. The largest site fee ever paid for a boxing fight was $12.5 in 2002 for Lewis-Tyson in Memphis.