Although we're only 9 days away from the event, tickets for the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will finally go on sale today, Thursday, April 23rd at 3 p.m ET / 12 p.m. ET. The best fight we've seen in years takes place at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas with the unified welterweight championship, bragging rights, and possible best fighter of this generation at stake. The tickets, which will be sold via Ticketmaster, couldn't go on sale until the two fighters reached an agreement with MGM Grand Arena on the event.
Don't get too excited, however, about getting your hands on tickets. For starters, there are only expected to be 500 tickets put on sale despite the fact MGM Grand Arena has a capacity of 16,800. The remaining tickets are controlled by the MGM Grand and the two groups promoting the fight. The second issue for buying tickets will be the face value prices. The cheapest ticket available is $1,500 with the others being priced at $2,500, $3,500, $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000. Unfortunately for the high rollers out there, none of the $10,000 will be a part of the 500 tickets that go on sale, but chances are you can make an arrangement to receive tickets from the MGM Grand in terms of staying there and spending at their property if you are a high roller.
Chances are you won’t be able to get your hands on tickets through the primary market via Ticketmaster when they get released because of the available quantity. The secondary market will be flooded with tickets once the promotional groups and the MGM Grand begin distributing the tickets.
Prices will skyrocket at first, but you’re better off waiting to buy tickets. As ESPN’s Dan Rafael points out on Twitter, it’s very hard to move such expensive ticket inventory. Don’t forget that prices for events usually decrease as the event gets closer and sellers get more desperate to get rid of their tickets. Waiting until just before the fight clearly appears to be the right answer. Rafael recalls a similar situation when Mike Tyson fought Lennox Lewis: “Brokers couldn't move them at huge prices. I vividly recall on morning of fight seeing a guy I knew well in the hotel lobby. He was tight with Team Lewis. He had a duffle bag that he opened for me. It was filled with hundreds of Lewis-Tyson tix he was trying to dump. Was taking 50 cents on the dollar for tickets just to move them.“
We’re in a day and age where more secondary ticket transactions are done online, so it’ll be interesting to see how much inventory is sold on the ground through old fashioned methods. As for the internet, you have Stubhub, the well-known option to grab tickets, or a ticket aggregator (think Kayak for sports tickets) like SeatGeek and TiqIQ, both of which aggregate broker tickets. Stubhub won’t list tickets for the event until they’re actually sold through MGM in case you’re wondering why they aren’t listed yet. Stubhub has a Last Minute Service Center located right next to the Rio in order to assist drop-off and delivery of tickets.
If you’re going to Vegas to enjoy the atmosphere of the fight, but don’t want to spend on tickets, you’ll have to buy tickets to the closed circuit broadcasts being hosted at the MGM properties, such as Aria, Bellagio, the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, etc. Non-MGM properties will not be able to show the fight anywhere in their casino, so you’ll need to pay the $150 for a closed-circuit ticket at one of those MGM properties. Tickets for the closed-circuit telecasts will also be available on Ticketmaster.