LAS VEGAS >>Tickets to the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight finally went on sale Thursday to the public, little more than a week before the bout.
Don’t expect to snag one at a starting retail price of $1,500, though. Only about 500 tickets were sold to the general public for boxing’s richest fight ever.
The ticket sale — announced Wednesday night — comes after the rival camps settled final details on the fight contract and how tickets would be allotted.
A conference call earlier in the day between the rival camps — with CBS head honcho Les Moonves serving as a mediator — resolved the dispute over millions of dollars in tickets, said Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum. The battle held up the sale of the 500 tickets to the general public and the release of thousands of others to ticket brokers and others.
Most of the tickets to the 16,500-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena are controlled by the two fight camps, with the remainder reserved by the MGM for its own customers. They had been unavailable, though, because the two sides were feuding over who got what tickets and where they were located.
At stake were millions of dollars because the tickets could be sold by the two camps to ticket brokers for far more than retail price.
“We worked it out orally this morning,” Arum said. “Once the actual contracts are signed with the changes everyone agreed to we can move forward.”
Tickets have been an issue since the fight was announced because the MGM’s arena is far too small to meet the demand for seats at the megafight. It wasn’t until the two fighters met last month at a Los Angeles press conference formally announcing the fight that the price of the tickets was announced at $1,500 to $7,500.
Even that has changed, though, with the floor seats now retailing for $10,000. Two of those seats were listed on the Seatgeek.com website Wednesday for a total of $100,983, including a $15 delivery charge.
Though full details of the public ticket sale weren’t announced, there reportedly will be 100 tickets sold in each of five price categories, not including the $10,000 floor seats. The MGM also announced the sale of thousands of closed circuit seats at its various properties at $150 apiece.
On a conference call Wednesday with reporters, Mayweather said he was not involved in the process.
“I don’t worry about tickets,” Mayweather said. “I worry about the guy in front of me, which is going to be Manny Pacquiao. That’s my whole focus.”
Arum said Moonves, who helped broker the fight to begin with, was the “voice of reason” in the talks and was in on the conference call with Arum and Mayweather manager Al Haymon that resolved the dispute. Also helping, Arum said, was Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who talked to MGM officials.
Though the dispute over terms of the actual fight contract was a protracted one, Arum said the fight itself was never in jeopardy.
While the lack of tickets has been an issue, the pay-per-view has been selling — and reportedly very well. Most in boxing believe that the bout will break the record of 2.48 million pay-per-view buys set by Mayweather’s 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya.
Mark Taffet, who heads HBO’s pay-per-view operation, said early reports show individual distributors in cable, DSL and satellite all already selling more than 10,000 pay-per-views each, which is unheard of this far out from a fight.
“It reflects the distributors are getting out the message to order this fight early,” Taffet said. “And clearly it’s an indication people are getting together early to make plans for their fight parties.”