Thursday, January 14, 2010

Opinion: Filling Huge Cowboys Stadium a Tough Job for Pacquiao and Arum

By Jason Kim: The Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas is a huge venue for major events like boxing. The stadium will host the upcoming Pacquiao-Clottey match on March 13 but boxing fans wonder if the giant stadium will be filled with people on fight night.
Pacquiao will face Joshua Clottey on March 13 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium for the WBO welterweight crown currently held by the popular Filipino boxer.
The Pacquiao-Clottey boxing match came about when negotiations for the highly anticipated Pacquiao-Mayweather fight bogged down due to blood testing protocol as demanded by the Mayweather camp. The aborted fight was scheduled to be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 13.
Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, announced Monday the staging of the Pacquiao-Clottey match at the Cowboys Stadium on March 13. Although nothing has been said about the actual contract signing for the Pacquiao-Clottey match, it appears that the fight will definitely happen as both boxers are under Top Rank promotions which is owned by Bob Arum.
Arum announced Monday that the fight venue is the Cowboys Stadium and a deal with the owner Jerry Jones has been finalized.
Since Joshua Clottey does not have a large following or dedicated fans compared to Pacquiao, the task of getting people to watch the bout lies on Pacquiao's crowd-drawing power.
Will Pacquiao be able to fill the stadium?
If the aborted Pacquiao-Mayweather match happens at the Cowboys Stadium as originally planned, there is no doubt the venue will be filled. The combined supporters and fans of Pacquiao and Mayweather were expected to troop to Texas from other States across the US.
With the Pacquiao-Clottey fight, it would be a bit difficult to fill the capacity of the stadium as Pacquiao will be the main crowd drawer while Clottey can only rally his limited fan base. This could be the primary reason why Arum decided to peg his target crowd at 50,000.
Everything, however, will depend on the promotional efforts that will be made by Top Rank. One of the effective ways to attract spectators to the venue will be to launch a promotional campaign aimed at the large Mexican boxing fans in US-Mexican border cities or even in Mexico where boxing is very popular.
Another factor would be the ticket pricing. If the price is made affordable or if can be priced lower than the pay-per-view tag, budget conscious fans may actually see the fight live rather that watching it at home on pay-per-view.


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