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Pacquiao vs Marquez 3: Manny an Economic Force in Las Vegas

Mild-mannered Manny means major money. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Mild-mannered Manny means major money. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Greg Bishop of the New York Times has an interesting article up right now on the scope of what a Manny Pacquiao fight means for the Las Vegas economy.

In a nutshell, it's a big deal:

"It’s hard to put a specific number on it," said Josh Swissman, vice president for corporate marketing at MGM Resorts International. "But it’s a marked increase. A fight weekend like this is like New Year’s Eve for us. And New Year’s Eve is the biggest night in the whole city."

... As the director of marketing at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Kevin Bagger helps oversee a survey of 3,600 visitors over a calendar year to determine what the average person spends on everything besides gambling, including restaurants, bars, souvenirs and rental cars. For 2010, the average was $645.

By multiplying that average with the gate attendance, the visitors authority arrives at an "estimated nongaming economic impact" for each fight, usually in the range of $6 million to $12 million. When Pacquiao tangled with Erik Morales in November 2006 at the larger-capacity Thomas and Mack Center, the estimated nongambling economic impact was $12.9 million, the highest total in the past five years.

Needless to say, Manny Pacquiao does a lot for the Vegas economy, which is a big reason that his departure from Las Vegas for his pair of fights in 2010, where he faced Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Texas, was a huge blow. There are reasons he's back at the smaller-capacity MGM Grand this year -- Vegas felt what it was like to miss Manny Pacquiao, and to miss Floyd Mayweather Jr, who didn't fight for 16 months after his May 2010 win over Shane Mosley.

Manny and Floyd bring in big money, gambling and nongambling, gate attendances and just people coming in for the fight, for Vegas. And Vegas pays handsomely to make sure it's the home base for big-time boxing.

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