Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has offered a $25-million guarantee to host the scheduled March 13 mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in his Texas stadium, a source close to the negotiations but not authorized to speak publicly about them told The Times today.
Jones' new Dallas Cowboys Stadium has a capacity of more than 100,000. His offer exceeds the $20-million guarantee that Staples Center offered fight promoters earlier this week.
When asked about the Dallas guarantee, Mayweather promoter Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions would neither confirm or deny its accuracy.
"The numbers are going in the right direction, and I believe we'll end up in excess of $30 million," Schaefer said.
A spokesman for Jones declined to comment about the site talks.
The Dallas offer will be greatly challenged by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, which is expected to offer ringside seats for $2,500, which is $500 more than the highest-priced seats for the most lucrative fight in boxing history, Mayweather's split-decision triumph over Oscar De La Hoya in May 2007.
Experts say that price increase could put a Mayweather-Pacquiao gate near $28 million, and Las Vegas is also positioned to sell another 40,000 seats for closed-circuit showings at $100 apiece, generating another possible $4 million at selected MGM properties, including Mandalay Bay.
MGM hasn't presented a guarantee yet, fight sources have said. An MGM spokesman declined to discuss his company's involvement with Mayweather-Pacquiao this week.
Schaefer said he first is hopeful that he can gather signed deals from Mayweather and Pacquiao next week, and then work to finalize the site deal.
He said counteroffers are encouraged to be sent to his Los Angeles office during the weekend. He added the final decision will require Mayweather's approval.
"I just added toner to the fax machine and had it serviced right before I left Friday," Schaefer said. "So keep those offers coming."