Spinks vs. Judah II Breaks Attendance Record

03.02.05 - ST. LOUIS—History will be made on Saturday when a sold-out crowd of over 22,000 people will pack Savvis Center—the most people to ever witness a boxing match at an indoor arena—for Spinks vs. Judah II: Arch Rivals… Meet Me in St. Louis, which is being broadcast on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Promoter Don King, who has made a career of making and breaking incredible records, said this event will rank among his finest..

“I named this fight ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ and what a meeting it will be,” an ebullient King said after learning the event had sold out. “I applaud St. Louisans for getting behind their hometown hero Cory Spinks and Zab Judah to make history.”

Savvis Center Senior Vice President and General Manager Dennis Petrullo has been delighted by the response to the event, especially with the loss of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues in his arena this year.

“Savvis Center would like to thank St. Louis for demonstrating that they support quality sporting events and have embraced this match in record numbers,” Petrullo said.

Don King Productions staff members contacted numerous boxing venues and historians of the sport this week in an effort to give historical perspective to Spinks vs. Judah II as it approached record-setting attendance numbers for a match in an indoor arena.

The research indicates Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971, held the record for paid attendance at an indoor arena at 20,455 while the record-holder for highest overall attendance at an indoor arena was Mike Tyson vs. Michaels Spinks with 21,785 at the Atlantic City Convention Center on June 28, 1988.

Paid attendance for Saturday’s match will be 20,655 and the overall capacity at the event will be 22,050. Official attendance figures, which could go even higher if additional seats are added, will be released after the event.

Don King Productions has promoted over 500 world championship fights with nearly 100 individual boxers having been paid $1 million or more. DKP also holds the distinction of having promoted seven of the 10 largest pay-per-view events in history, as gauged by total buys, including the top four: Holyfield vs. Tyson II, 1.95 million buys, June 1997; Tyson vs. Holyfield I, 1.6 million buys, November 1996; Tyson vs. McNeeley, 1.58 million buys, August 1995; and Bruno vs. Tyson, 1.4 million buys, March 1996.

DKP has promoted or co-promoted 12 of the top-20 highest-grossing live gates in the history of the state of Nevada including the top six: Holyfield vs. Lewis II, paid attendance: 17,078, gross: $16,860,300 (NOTE: Also highest live-gate gross for any event in the history of the world.), date: Nov. 13, 1999; Holyfield vs. Tyson II, paid attendance: 16,279, gross: $14,277,200, date: June 28, 1997; Holyfield vs. Tyson I, paid attendance: 16,103, gross: $14,150,700, date: Nov. 9, 1996; Tyson vs. McNeeley, paid attendance: 16,113, gross: $113,965,600, date: Aug. 19, 1995; De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, paid attendance: 11,184, gross: $12,949,500 (Also garnered the most pay-per-view buys for a non-heavyweight fight at 1.4 million.), date: Sept. 18, 1999; and Tyson vs. Bruno II, paid attendance: 16,143, gross: $10,673,700, date: March 16, 1996.

Savvis Center is an arena in downtown St. Louis. Opened in 1994, the arena is home to St. Louis Blues hockey (NHL), Saint Louis University Billikens basketball (NCAA Division I) and St. Louis Steamers soccer (MISL), and also plays host to a wide variety of other sporting events, concerts and family shows. Nearly 2 million people enjoy 170 events each year at Savvis Center, and the facility is consistently ranked annually among the top 10 arenas in North America in tickets sold.

Article posted on 03.02.2005

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