Las Vegas has suffered a blow in its bid to stage the heavyweight title trilogy between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder over the next six months.
The new home of NFL Franchise, the Las Vegas Raiders, has been declared a ‘no fans zone’ for until the end of the 2020/21 season.
This means if Fury vs Wilder III or even Nevada regular Canelo Alvarez wanted to stage bouts there, they would have to do it completely without a crowd.
In regards to all three of the current world champions, this doesn’t seem a viable option for the 72,000 Allegiant Stadium.
Explaining the decision, Raiders owner Mark Davis spoke out this week.
“Well, early on, about three weeks ago, the NFL made the decision that the first eight rows of fans wouldn’t be able to attend the games,” Davis told Raiders Nation Radio.
“They disregarded our option of putting up hockey glass in the front rows to protect the players from the fans. They just felt that the eight rows of fans were going to be excluded from going.
“That meant 8,000 Raider PSL holders for the inaugural season wouldn’t be able to attend the first game. That hit me really hard.
“I felt at that time that if one fan couldn’t go, then I don’t know if any fan should be able to go.
“What really sealed it though was the health aspect of this. The uncertainty created by the Coronavirus. How vicious it’s been — especially in our valley here. It’s growing.
“It just didn’t seem safe to put fans in the stadium at this time. There are so many variables involved.”
On the damage the coronavirus outbreak has done to the coming season, Davis added: “It would’ve been tough to have 65,000 fans, 20,000 fans, or whomever.
“If they came into that stadium and they left – because we’re going to be having fans fly in from Oakland and Los Angeles — they would be bringing (COVID) back to their home places as well.
“We just didn’t feel that at this time it’s safe. So we made a very, very tough decision. But it’s a decision that we made,” he added.
At present, Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III is being eyed for between December 2020 and February 2021. But the longer COVID-19 goes largely unchecked in the United States, the crowd situation remains impossible.
Their February 2020 rematch broke gate receipts records for a heavyweight bout in Las Vegas. This means promoter Bob Arum has a massive headache on his hands.
Arum firmly wants a human presence for the clash to maximize profits. That could prove out of the question unless massive safety measures are implemented in the USA.
Authorities in many states need to bring the spread of the virus down.
As for Canelo, fighting in an MGM Grand seems more feasible than the T-Mobile Arena, the original destination for his return.
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