Written by Nick Tylwalk
As cool as it was to see the Manny Pacquiao experience hit the road and draw upwards of 40,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium last year, there was never any doubt that he'd be back in action in Las Vegas eventually.
And no one is happier about that than Las Vegas itself.
With the fight capital of the world hit as hard as any U.S. city during the recent recession, it could use a booster shot. That will come this Saturday, as Bob Arum told the Las Vegas Sun that Pacquiao's fight with Shane Mosley could mean $200 to $300 million in revenue for the Vegas economy. Did I say booster shot? That's more like a needle full of adrenaline.
Of course that estimate is given by Pacquiao's promoter, so at least a partial grain of salt is probably wise. But once you stop and consider the sold out arena, a possible 30,000 closed circuit tickets sold, the premium prices the Strip hotels can charge (the Sun piece says rooms are going for triple the normal rates at the MGM Grand) and all the fans will spend to eat, drink and be merry, it starts to sound like it's not such a reach.
I haven't even mentioned gambling yet. It's not something that Arum or Pacquiao discuss, but Manny's loyal fans include numerous high rollers from both Asia and here in the U.S. If you don't think the baccarat tables are going to be contributing a hefty chunk of change to that nine-digit revenue total, please think again.
Despite his positive results having Pacquiao fight in Dallas and his seemingly cozy relationship with Jerry Jones, Arum makes no bones about the fact that Las Vegas is his home and he wants it to rebound from its current slump. That means you can believe him when he says this won't be Manny's last appearance in a Sin City ring. Surely, if the ever elusive Floyd Mayweather bout can ever be made, Vegas would be the frontrunner for that as well and stand to make more money that a host city has ever raked in for a boxing match.
So enjoy the fight and everything that comes along with it, Las Vegas. I know I'm rooting for you to get your legs back under you as well.
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