SBD/Issue 126/Events & AttractionsPrint All
Pacquiao-Clottey Bout Draws Third-Largest
Attendance In U.S. Boxing History
An announced crowd of 50,994 watched Manny Pacquiao defeat Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday, a "historic night for boxing in Texas and the United States," according to Barry Horn of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The night featured Pacquiao, the "biggest star in the sport, fighting before an enthusiastic throng with Cowboys cheerleaders flitting in and out of view." And to make sure "no one could forget whose house it was, three Cowboys cheerleaders sang the national anthem." The crowd fell short of the "record for boxing paid attendance" in Texas, as the Pernell Whitaker-Julio Cesar Chavez bout in '93 drew 58,891 fans at the Alamodome (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/14). ESPN.com's Dan Rafael noted it was the "third-largest attendance in U.S. boxing history," topped also by the 63,350 who attended the '79 Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks fight at the Superdome. Saturday night's crowd "cheered Pacquaio's every move," and they "probably would have cheered had he been in the ring shadowboxing in the main event of the first card at Jerry Jones' sparkling" stadium (ESPN.com, 3/13). There was a "massive eruption of cheers" when Pacquiao first appeared entering the ring, and the "support continued whenever his mug flashed" on the HD videoboard (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/14). The AP's Jaime Aron noted only 45,000 tickets were made available initially, and "standing-room-only tickets were made available Friday." While not "every seat was great," every fan in attendance "felt close to the action" thanks to the videoboard (AP, 3/13).
A STAR PERFORMANCE: In Ft. Worth, Gil LeBreton wrote the "second-biggest story" behind Pacquaio's dominating victory "had to be the venue, a cozy little room with 72-foot TV screens and seemingly about 50,000 of Manny's closest friends." The videoboard was a "much-needed crutch Saturday night," and there was "atmosphere aplenty." For fans seated on the stadium floor, the ring itself "seemed like a thin and distant object," and the "giant video board was hard to see, if you were seated in the shadow of it." LeBreton: "But for sheer panorama and I-was-there value, Jerry Jones' house of punches delivered as promised" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/14). The DALLAS MORNING NEWS' Horn today writes the "giant video board was mesmerizing and the presentation around the ring was electric" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/15). Boxing historian Bert Sugar: "When I saw this, I said to Jerry Jones, 'Just think what God could have done with this stadium if he'd had the money.'" In Ft. Worth, Jan Hubbard noted despite the "enormity of the stadium, it didn't seem too big." It was "hardly intimate, but a giant curtain was hung to hide seats in the upper deck" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/14). SI.com's Bryan Armen Graham wrote, "We need more boxing in stadium-size venues." Cowboys Stadium was "electric from start to finish." With Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman set to fight at Yankee Stadium on June 5, "here's hoping we're seeing the beginning of a trend of boxing in larger venues" (SI.com, 3/14).
Texas state officials Friday said that they "would set aside $31.2[M] in sales tax revenue to help fund Super Bowl XLV" at Cowboys Stadium next year, meaning that local taxpayers "won't be on the hook for security-related costs for events in Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth and Irving," according to Mosier & Nix of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee "should have enough money to pay for its costs related to the game" on February 6, 2011. No decision "has been made about how the money will be split." The host committee and the cities are "all expected to tap into the fund." The fund taps "four sources -- sales, hotel, car rental and alcohol taxes -- paid by out-of-towners who come to the Super Bowl" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/13). Host Committee President & CEO Bill Lively said that the committee's budget is about $40M, and the group has "raised about $21[M] in cash and in-kind sponsorships." Host Committee Chair Roger Staubach: "With sponsorship and this, we should be able to fulfill every promise we've made." The $31.2M figure is "short of the $36.2[M] that the host committee had sought from the state fund," but Lively said that the "difference isn't meaningful and won't affect services." He said that the committee "will continue to sell sponsorships to cover expenses that aren't reimbursable." In Ft. Worth, Scott Nishimura noted the host committee "touted Texas' decision as an affirmation of an economic-impact study" the group had submitted with its request for funds. That study, conducted by California-based Marketing Information Masters, "estimated that Super Bowl XLV will generate a record $611.7[M] in economic impact" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/13).