Published December 10, 2009
|AEG Says It Would Activate Entire LA Live
Campus Around Staples Center For Fight Week
AEG has offered a guaranteed $20M for Staples Center to "host the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. mega-fight," tentatively scheduled for March 13, according to Lance Pugmire of the L.A. TIMES. AEG COO Dan Beckerman said his pitch to Top Rank Chair Bob Arum and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer is to "activate the entire LA Live campus" around Staples Center during fight week. Beckerman said that the new JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels "would serve as media headquarters, a fan-fest would be staged at Nokia Plaza, a large closed-circuit audience could watch the bout at Nokia Theatre and 20,000 would fill Staples Center." Meanwhile, Schaefer yesterday "canceled a planned trip" to tour Cowboys Stadium with Arum and HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg. The stadium "has been considered a possible fight site," and Schaefer declined to say that the "Dallas site deal was dead." Schaefer, whose Golden Boy "counts AEG as a partner," said, "I don't need to tour any facilities. I'm a numbers guy. ... I've yet to see any numbers from them. I'm told things are bigger in Texas, but Staples has stepped up and presented us the numbers. Money talks" (L.A. TIMES, 12/10
). Arum, who represents Pacquiao, yesterday said Cowboys Stadium is "out of the running to host" the bout. Arum said that he "received a call from Schaefer on Tuesday night canceling the trip" (ESPN.com, 12/9
). Arum decided not to meet with Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones yesterday after Schaefer canceled his plans, and Arum said, "There was no point in me going. My guy can't go into the ring and just take bows. He needs an opponent" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 12/10
). More Arum: "I'm just embarrassed, really embarrassed. That man (Jones) changed his whole schedule for this, and you certainly want to listen to the man" (AP, 12/9
OTHERS IN LINE? The AFP reports yesterday's events "left the MGM Grand arena in Las Vegas as the favourite to host the fight." Staples Center would "likely need to offer more than a Las Vegas venue because California imposes state taxes that the fighters would have to pay, and Nevada doesn't" (AFP, 12/9). ESPN.com's Dan Rafael reported the Dolphins also are "interested in hosting the fight at Land Shark Stadium, going so far as to send out e-mails to their season-ticket holders to gauge their interest in buying tickets for the event" (ESPN.com, 12/9).