Delay, scarcity fuel insane ticket prices for Mayweather-Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao at a news conference at Staples Center last month.

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao at a news conference at Staples Center last month.

(Ed Crisostomo / Associated Press)

The mad rush to acquire tickets to watch Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2 is creating a frenzied marketplace.

At StubHub, a secondary ticket seller, a seat on the MGM Grand floor was listed at $128,706 Friday morning and the cheapest upper-deck seat was priced at $5,826.

Part of the craze is being fueled by the maddening delay in making tickets available.


Pacquiao representatives said that Mayweather’s manager, Al Haymon, attempted to alter an agreement in the original fight contract that would have shorted Pacquiao and promoter Top Rank Inc.'s agreed-upon ticket allocation by 2,000 tickets.

Settling the disagreement took until Wednesday, and MGM put 500 tickets on sale to the public Thursday. The arena’s capacity is around 16,800.

When tickets finally went on sale and someone congratulated Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum, he said, “Why congratulations? It’s a … disgrace.”

The remaining tickets were divided, with MGM getting 40% and Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank splitting the remainder evenly. The face-value prices ranged from $1,500 in the upper deck to $10,000 on the floor.

The long-anticipated showdown between the unbeaten Mayweather and the record eight-division champion Pacquiao is also expected to shatter pay-per-view records.

Cameron Papp, a spokesman for StubHub, said he believes most of the 245 ticket listings his company currently has for the bout were “put there by the MGM or the fighters.”

Other secondary ticket agents have reported record-high prices for a single ticket.

At StubHub, Papp said one seat has sold for $15,000, short of the company’s record $30,000 price for the NCAA men’s basketball championship game earlier this month.

That price, however, was for a suite that included 20 seats and food and drink.

“There’s no question the prices are reflecting the low inventory and high demand,” Papp said. “It’s interesting and unique to have tickets for such a major event go on sale just nine days before.”

Papp said in tracking sales for Mayweather’s record pay-per-view fight in 2013 against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, StubHub found most buyers came from California, Texas and New York.

“I’ve seen where some canceled their hotels and flights because of the delay, so we may see more buyers from Nevada on this one,” Papp said. “It’s a tough ask to get all this done nine days before the event.

“But the people buying these tickets are obviously well off -- actors, high-end business people. They’re going quick.”

StubHub has taken extensive security precautions, requiring sellers to leave their tickets after having them screened at StubHub ticket centers. Buyers must come to StubHub’s Las Vegas center to pick up their tickets.

Additionally Friday, an official at MGM Resorts told The Times that nearly all of the 50,000 close-circuit tickets available at properties throughout Las Vegas for $150 each have sold out.