70K Boxing Fans at AT&T Stadium May Be Biggest Indoor Event Since Pandemic Began

Is it a sign life is returning to normal or too much too soon?

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*Update* On Saturday, more than 73,000 people entered AT&T Stadium to see Alvarez defeat Saunders while also breaking the U.S. indoor boxing attendance record of 63,352 set in 1978 at the Superdome in New Orleans when Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks.

A boxing match Saturday is expected to bring more than 70,000 people to AT&T Stadium in Arlington in what may be the world’s largest indoor gathering since the pandemic began last spring.

Mexico's Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders weighed in Friday for the much-hyped event.

AT&T Stadium’s website said all employees would be wearing masks while spectators are encouraged – but not required – to wear them.

Doctors and other experts fear such lax rules could lead to an upswing in COVID-19 cases.

"I hate to say it but I think it's too much too fast,” said Dr. Harvey Castro, founder of Trusted ER. “Trust me I think all of us want to go back to what we call normal but we're a ways from getting there."

But everywhere there are signs people are moving on from the dark days of the pandemic.

Fort Worth’s Cowtown Marathon is happening this weekend, about three months later than usual. FC Dallas just revised their policy at Toyota Stadium: No more masks required.

Even apart from sporting events, there are indications the pandemic is mostly behind us.

On Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration announced the nation's airports were the busiest they've been since March 2020.

To be sure, infection rates have plummeted from the highs just a few months ago, and more people are getting vaccinated.

At Friday night’s Texas Rangers game, fans arrived to warnings from Rangers’ employees with bullhorns.

"Masks are required upon entry and inside the stadium,” they said. “Please remember to keep social distance. Six feet."

But few fans seemed overly concerned.

"We're all vaccinated,” one man said. “Everybody is kind of ready to get out, you know."

Still, experts are reluctant to give the all-clear -- or a clear timeline on when we'll get there.

"That's the million-dollar question to be honest. It's all about the vaccines,” Castro said.

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