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Bob Arum projects Yankee Stadium crowd of 20,000

With barely a week left until Yuri Foreman defends his WBA super welterweight title against Miguel Cotto June 5 at Yankee Stadium, plenty of good seats remain. Earlier this week, promoter Bob Arum said approximately 12,500 seats have been sold in an arena configured to seat 29,000.

The hype will intensify after the Memorial Day weekend, and if good weather leads to a big walkup sale, Arum is projecting a crowd of at least 20,000. "That's terrific," Arum said.

If the crowd reaches that number, Arum said the gate will be "a little south of $4 million."

That explains why Arum has taken to promoting more fights in large arenas around the country as opposed to doing much of his business at his Las Vegas headquarters. Setting up a fight in a large stadium is more costly, but the volume of sales can more than cover the expense.

"It is much more expensive to mount an event in an outdoor stadium than it is in an indoor arena," Arum said. "You've got to build all your seats and get your ring constructed with a canopy where you can hang lights. That costs between $300,000 and $400,000, where in Madison Square Garden, it would cost virtually nothing."

The Ivan Calderon-Jose Uribe light flyweight title bout Arum is promoting on June 12 at the Theater at MSG obviously isn't big enough to go in an outdoor arena and is perfectly suited for that venue. But where possible, Arum likes the idea of taking larger fights to bigger stadiums. For instance, he has plans to put together a card at the New Meadowlands Stadium in the future.

"I think it's good for the sport," Arum said. "I want to do fights in as many large stadiums as I can. We're doing one in June at the Alamodome [in San Antonio]; we hope to do a fight next year in Dodger Stadium. That is my way of bringing boxing back to the mainstream."

New York Sports