Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Updated: December 10, 11:33 PM ET
Source: 'Boys may have to offer $15M
By Calvin Watkins
DALLAS -- Boxing promoter Bob Arum said he's coming to Arlington on Wednesday to meet with Dallas Cowboys officials and listen to their proposal about bringing the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao megafight to Cowboys Stadium.
Arum will be joined by Mayweather's promoter, Richard Schaefer, and HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg.
"We'll see what we see there," Arum said regarding his visit. "We're making the trip on our own dime to see what they have to offer."
The fight is scheduled for March 13, and Arum would like to make a decision on the fight site by Monday.
Cowboys officials declined comment. However, team owner and general manager Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio show that the Cowboys "haven't dropped out of anything."
A source close to the talks said the Cowboys might have to offer close to $15 million as a site fee and possibly split the live gate to get the bout.
Arum said he would not discuss how much a venue would need to pay to get the fight. The largest site fee for a bout was $12.5 million promoters paid for the June 8, 2002 heavyweight title fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis.
Arum said several venues have stepped forward to host one of the biggest fights in years. He said he received a letter from The Republic of Congo about hosting the fight. New Orleans, Las Vegas and Miami have also expressed interest. Miami Dolphins officials told Arum that they would like to hold the fight at Land Shark Stadium.
Las Vegas seems to be the favorite to host the bout, but Arum and Schaefer are willing to listen to offers from other sites.
If Cowboys Stadium hosted the fight, seating capacity could reach 100,000. For the Cowboys home opener on Sept. 20, the team announced an attendance of 105,121. A bulk of those seats were in the standing-room only section on the upper level behind each end zone.
For a boxing match, stadium seating would be on the football field surrounding the ring in addition to the lower and upper bowls.
The fighters have agreed in principle to terms of the fight, but formal negotiations are not yet complete.
Having a big fight in Texas is not usual. Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali defended his title three times at the Astrodome in Houston and fought there four times overall.
Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker fought to a draw at the Alamodome in San Antonio in 1993. Retired star Oscar De La Hoya fought Patrick Charpentier in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, where over 45,000 fans attended in 1998.
In recent years, Las Vegas has hosted some of the biggest fights in recent memory.
The biggest gate in boxing history was the $18.4 million in tickets sold for Mayweather's victory over De La Hoya in 2007 at the MGM Grand Arena.
Boxing promoters, however, believe the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight could break that mark, especially if it's in a venue that can seat close to 100,000 people.
Calvin Watkins covers the Dallas Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.