Advertisement
  1. Business

For hotels and casinos, Mayweather-Pacquiao fight packs a punch

The match between boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will be held on Saturday evening at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. For hotels and casinos, it packs a powerful financial punch, as it likely will on pay-per-view.
The match between boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will be held on Saturday evening at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. For hotels and casinos, it packs a powerful financial punch, as it likely will on pay-per-view.
Published May 1, 2015

The boxing match Saturday night between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is pushing ticket and hotel prices in Las Vegas to record heights.

Rooms for fight weekend have jumped as much as $750 over their average daily rates, according to data compiled by Vegas.com. The MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, the fight site, has been selling standard rooms at $1,600, compared with the typical $270 a night.

That's a pittance compared with the cost of fight tickets — more than $100,000 for a ringside seat, or a mere $4,600 for seats in the nosebleed section.

"We've never seen anything like this before," said Vanessa Doleshal, business development manager for the Nevada travel site Vegas.com, which offers booking at 113 of Las Vegas' largest hotels.

The cost of premium live sports and entertainment events has risen sharply even in an era of Internet streaming, but the frenzy surrounding the Mayweather-Pacquiao match is extreme.

Anticipation has built for several years for a fight between Mayweather — an undefeated champion of five weight categories — and Pacquiao, a popular champion of eight weight classes. Several previous attempts to schedule the fight have fallen through.

Tickets to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight are particularly costly because the bout falls under the heading of a once-in-a-lifetime event.

"For many people, this a bucket list kind of thing," said David Carter, a University of Southern California professor of sports business. "People are willing to dip into their savings on something like that."

Fight promoters and sports franchises have caught on that wealthy fans are willing to pay exorbitant prices for marquee events, said George Hatcher Sr., who worked as an adviser for several years to Joel De La Hoya, father of former boxing champ Oscar De La Hoya.

"Somebody is paying for those tickets, so how can you be critical?" he asked, referring to the sky-high prices for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

Less wealthy fans seem willing to pay a good bit just to watch the fight on TV. Pay-per-view carriers are charging about $90, or about $100 for the HD version.

The match is expected to bring record pay-per-view sales at more than 3 million households. That will boost the overall purse to more than $300 million.

Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge