Since his last cancelled show, the fifth in a row wiped out by COVID-19, Doug Long was waiting for a number from the state health department. That number was the percentage of people allowed at an indoor event, and the local boxing promoter needed that number to reach 25 percent of capacity before, financially, he could put on another boxing show.
Once the announcement was made that capacity could increase to 25 percent beginning April 4, Long began to put his plan into action.
On Thursday, Long announced “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now: Boxing is Back,” an amateur boxing card, is set for April 17 at Genetti Manor in Dickson City.
“’Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’ is a song I keep listening to on the radio and to me it means what the public has gone through in the last year,” Long said. “We’re not just a boxing show at this event. For a lot of people, this will be their first time out in more than a year and I want to do it right.”
In Long’s five previous attempts, guidelines and restrictions changed the week of the show, forcing it to be canceled. But because it was canceled days before the show was scheduled to take place, tickets and posters were already printed and he had already done advertising for the show.
Still, he was not discouraged from trying again.
“As soon as I heard the number was changing, I went right to printing posters,” he said. “This time, there’s a certainty to it. Last time, it wasn’t certain at all. There was always a question mark and things were changing. All the bars and restaurants in the area went through that, too, and it was heart-wrenching.”
The show will have limited tickets with only 260 seats available. Long said including boxers, officials and staff, the total number would be closer to 300. He said with the size of Genetti Manor, they could hold 350 but he wanted to stay under that.
Everyone will have their temperature checked when they enter the facility and masks must be worn at all times except when eating or drinking. The ballroom chairs will be spaced out throughout the ballroom with no general admission or standing-room only tickets available. The facility will also be sanitized in the days leading up to the event.
Local boxers Zack Venesky, Shawn McFadden, Marty Henehan, Nick D’Amico and Rocco Cordaro are scheduled for the card.
“I knew the 25 percent would give us the right capacity at Genetti’s,” Long said. “I knew the ballroom would work, I knew I had companies behind me who could do the temperature checks that had kept in touch with me this entire time. This show is going to break-even but hopefully it’s a step in the right direction.”
Ain’t No Stopping Us Now: Boxing is Back
- When: April 17, 7 p.m.
- Where: Genetti Manor, 1505 Main St., Dickson City
- Tickets: Cost $35 to $40 and are available at Genetti Manor
Herb Smith is a sports clerk and the voice that greets most people calling the Times-Tribune sports department. A lifelong resident of Scranton, Herb graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2005. He joined The Times-Tribune in 2004 as a part-time delivery driver and, after graduation, was hired as an obituary clerk. Herb helped out on high school football coverage and then moved to the sports department full-time in spring 2009 and puts together high school roundups, clipboard and youth sports news and maintains the local sports schedule. He also covers boxing and mixed martial arts and contributes to high school football and NASCAR coverage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-348-9125.