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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Boxing returned on Tuesday thanks to the herculean efforts by promotion company Top Rank to create a "bubble" at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The big picture: Brad Jacobs, Top Rank's COO and the architect of their return-to-play protocol, told Axios, "First, I dissected our events line item by line item. Then I consulted with an infectious disease specialist and an emergency physician, and I depended a lot on these experts to figure out how to do this 100% properly."

"I'm proud to say we have our first show under our belt, and there really haven't been any hiccups. Some minor things that we've learned along the way, but for the most part, everything has really gone perfect. We're thrilled."
Top Rank's "bubble" inside the MGM Grand Convention Center. Image: Top Rank

How it works: Jacobs said, "Once we had the location, we basically took over the entire conference center, and that's given us the ability to have a one-stop-shop. Everything from offices to training to eating takes place here, so basically you're either in your room on the 12th floor — reserved for us with a dedicated elevator — or you're in the conference center. That's the bubble."

Compared to the NBA's return: "I think it's all very similar, it's just about increasing the numbers. Take our catering hall, which can seat roughly 100 people at a time — they'll need one for at least 1,000 at a time. So a lot of the protocols are the same, just the enormity of the numbers they'll be dealing with is much more vast."

The impact: "It's not cutting our legs off, but it's an expensive proposition. There's obviously no gate receipts, and the medical part of this process alone, for two months, is going to cost us probably half a million dollars."

The bottom line: Top Rank's size and clout gave them the manpower and capital to pull this off. But perhaps Jacobs' confidence helped, too, as he told ESPN, "We're gonna be ready in June to be on the air ... be ready for us." And they were.

Go deeper

DNC releases coronavirus protocols for August convention

Joe Biden on July 21 in New Castle, Delaware. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee announced Monday that attendees for its August convention in Milwaukee must agree to daily coronavirus testing and protective self-isolation measures.

The big picture: The DNC is planning a pared-down convention with a smaller venue and remote business for most state delegations, who are advised not to travel to Milwaukee. The Republican National Convention, meanwhile, was forced to cancel its main Jacksonville programming due to coronavirus and security risks.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations are "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more power outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

The latest: Greater Manchester Police, in Northwest England, tweeted on Sunday night that officers had arrested and detained two teenagers in South Manchester for questioning in relation to the siege in Colleyville, Texas, "as part of the ongoing investigation into the attack."

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