Mayweather-Pacquiao dispute resolved: 500 tickets will go to public
Promoters Leonard Ellerbe and Bob Arum said Wednesday that a verbal agreement has been reached to resolve a disagreement over ticket allocation for the May 2 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, told The Times on Wednesday afternoon that he’s waiting to sign a contract finalizing the deal, and once that’s complete, 500 tickets will be put on public sale.
The capacity of MGM Grand is 16,800 seats, with the face value of tickets ranging from $1,500 to $10,000.
The remainder of the tickets will be split up as agreed upon in the original negotiations that led to a signed fight contract by Mayweather and Pacquiao in February.
Under that deal, according to officials not authorized to discuss the arrangement publicly, MGM Grand was to receive 40% of the tickets, with Mayweather Promotions and Arum’s Top Rank Inc. equally splitting the remainder.
Many of those tickets will be placed on the secondary market, sold at prices that could reach $100,000, although the time crunch caused by the ticket delay could lessen the value.
MGM will make the tickets available to the public Thursday.
A new site agreement contract was crafted to stage the bout at MGM Grand, and in the original language that was forwarded to Top Rank, the promoter and Pacquiao would receive 2,000 fewer tickets than they originally agreed upon, according to an official not authorized to talk about details of the dispute.
On Tuesday, without providing details of the disagreement, Arum said he was unwilling to sign a site agreement deal unless it exactly reflected the ticket allocation agreement that was previously made.
“We will have a fight, even if it’s only attended by reporters sitting in their seats,” Arum said Tuesday.
On Wednesday Arum said, “Everything is resolved ... we orally agreed and are waiting on the actual contract.”
Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions said Wednesday afternoon he was at MGM Grand finalizing the deal.
“The fans are the ones who suffer, and it reflects badly upon boxing in general,” said Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s business manager. “How’s the public going to look upon boxing if we can’t even put tickets on sale?
“We say we want to give the fans what they want and can’t even give them their tickets until now?”
Tickets priced $1,500, $2,500, $3,500, $5,000 and $7,500 will be available for sale at Noon Pacific time at mgmgrand.com and ticketmaster.com, and by calling (800) 745-3000. Closed-circuit tickets for $150 (maximum eight tickets per order) can be purchased at 3 p.m. Pacific at all MGM properties in Las Vegas, and by telephone at (866) 799-7711 or (800) 745-3000.
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