Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Staples Center in Los Angeles has come forward with a $20 million offer to host the March 13 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"This is the biggest boxing event ever, and we're prepared to step up in a big way," said Dan Beckerman, chief financial officer for AEG, which runs Staples Center.
"We know there's interest in this fight across the world, but we're very interested and honored to make the most impressive offer possible," Beckerman said. "It's our biggest guarantee ever, and we hope it wins the day. We wanted to push as far and as hard as we could."
Richard Schaefer, who previously was said to have nixed the idea of hosting the fight at Cowboys Stadium in Texas, says that idea isn't dead, and attempts to explain why he canceled his trip to Dallas with Bob Arum to meet with Jerry Jones:
"I don't need to tour any facilities. I'm a numbers guy. Numbers transmit over the fax machine as well as they do in person, and 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," he said.
As best we know, Staples has made the first firm offer, and it's a good one. I don't think $20 million can beat whatever the MGM in Vegas will offer. Pacquiao himself is getting a rumored $25 million guarantee for the fight.
Plus, the big deterrent will be the income taxes that California levies against the fighters. New York and New Jersey are totally out of the running because of their taxes. Nevada and Texas don't have them, and Louisiana would have to waive theirs, which James Carville proposes.
But it's never over 'til it's over, either. Staples may well be prepared to go even higher. All I know is this is getting very interesting.