Mayweather-Pacquiao Tickets Are So Expensive, Vegas Room Prices Are Falling

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: The Money Behind the Fight

Las Vegas hotel prices have dropped an average of $150 a night for this weekend as many boxing fans realize they won’t get a chance to be a part of the long-awaited bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

The cheapest tickets to the fight are going for almost $3,400 and alternate viewing options are limited, as the MGM Resorts holds exclusive pay-per-view rights. The fight is scheduled for May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and viewing parties will be held only at the 13 MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas.

Other Vegas casinos, hotels and sportsbooks can’t show the fight -- only private residences -- and the estimated 35,000 to 50,000 viewing party tickets priced at $150 sold out last week in 90 minutes. The average secondary-market price for tickets to the fight itself is about $6,300 on StubHub.

“People are realizing that they’re not going to be able to get ahold of a viewing party ticket and they’re not going to be able to get a ticket to the fight, so why go to Vegas?,” Vegas.com business development manager Vanessa Doleshal said in a telephone interview.

The website saw a 1,000 percent increase in hotel bookings after the fight was announced. Demand has declined since and Doleshal said there have been a significant amount of cancellations, as some people who planned trips to Las Vegas bowed out before the 48- to 72-hour window for penalties.

The average hotel rate in the city is still $420, with the five-star average at $943, Doleshal said. The highest-priced standard room, for 600 square feet at the MGM Grand Hotel, is $1,520, a record for the property. The cheapest hotel room currently available is $175 a night at Arizona Charlie’s, which is off the main strip in Las Vegas.

Vegas Weekend

There are other events this weekend -- the Kentucky Derby, also on May 2, and playoffs in the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League. The Cinco de Mayo holiday is three days after the fight and Doleshal said the expectation is that 150,000 to 200,000 visitors will be in the city this weekend. As a comparison, Las Vegas usually draws 250,000 to 300,000 for New Year’s celebrations.

“They expected to have the whole city sell out, but it’s not really turning out that way,” Doleshal said.

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