You're not misreading that, either. Bob Arum is blaming GEORGE W. BUSH and the American economy for slow ticket sales on the June 7 bout between Kelly Pavlik and Gary Lockett in Atlantic City.
Let's really think about this and examine the idea, because I'm loving it. Absolutely freaking loving it.
Arum says, according to Kevin Iole's blog, "(Bush has) f---ed up the economy so bad, people can't afford to buy tickets. ... Gas is over four dollars a gallon. Wake up and realize what is happening in this country."
What Arum (who is a Democrat, for the record, not that I care) is essentially doing is blaming slow tickets for a pretty weak main evented fight card on the President of the United States. That is just amazing.
Maybe, just maybe, Arum and promoters like him should wake up and realize what is happening not only in this country, but in this sport. Remember last November, when Juan Manuel Marquez fought Rocky Juarez and there were about 2,000 people at the Desert Diamond Casino to see a 130-pound title fight between one of the sport's best boxers and a credible enough challenger? What was to blame then? There are enough fight fans to fill arenas still. But people can't afford these tickets, or else people see the prices and go, "Screw that." Even if they CAN afford tickets, they might just not want to pay that kind of money for them.
Boxing has priced itself out of middle America for a long time now. Oscar de la Hoya said "thank you" to his fans in Los Angeles by putting cheap tickets up for his sparring session against Steve Forbes, so that everyone could have a crappy seat to come to his event.
Maybe instead of reserving all the decent seats for the short guy from Entourage and Angelina Jolie, they could actually make it affordable for fight fans to get into the good seats.
The live crowds for boxing on American TV are generally pretty pathetic. Tiny venues might make for a good boxing atmosphere, but they can't sell the event to someone that doesn't already care. There are few things more difficult to do than convince someone that a sporting event is worth watching if no one is there in the stands on television. Ever tried to convince someone to sit down and watch a Tampa Bay Rays game? It gives the whole thing an air of not being "cool," and most people are concerned with being cool.
Anyway, that's all a little off topic. Top five reasons Pavlik-Lockett isn't moving tickets:
- No one knows who the hell Gary Lockett is. Thus, the fight is an utter mismatch on paper.
- Atlantic City is a hell of a trek from Youngstown. Hey, Bob, if you understand gas prices and the fact that plane tickets and hotel rooms ain't fallin' off of trees, maybe you should've placed this fight somewhere closer to the star's hometown. This isn't Pavlik-Taylor II. Thousands aren't going to come to A.C. from Youngstown to see this fight.
- Ponce de Leon-Lopez is an exciting fight, but A.C. isn't the greatest place for it, so there's no help there, really.
- Your tickets are too f---ing expensive.
- NO ONE KNOWS WHO GARY LOCKETT IS. This cannot be stressed enough!