Deal reached, tickets for Mayweather-Pacquiao bout on sale Thursday
Leslie Moonves has done it again.
The president and CEO of CBS Corporation, whose involvement was credited with helping Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao reach a deal to fight each other, saved the day a second time.
A dispute between Top Rank, Mayweather Promotions and the MGM Grand was putting the fight at risk. But a late morning conference call resolved all outstanding issues, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday.
The May 2 welterweight bout at the MGM Grand, which is expected to be the largest-grossing fight in history, is now officially on. There had been disputes over allocation of tickets, credentials and hotel rooms, among other things, and despite the fact that the fighters had signed to face each other in February, there hadn't been a contract between the promoters and the MGM.
Arum said he and Top Rank president Todd duBoef met with Moonves and Mayweather adviser Al Haymon and that nothing now stands in the way of the fight going forward.
"We resolved all of the issues and now we're waiting for the paperwork," Arum said. "I said on the call that if what we agreed upon is in the paperwork we receive, we will sign it and the tickets will be released."
All parties signed the contract and just before midnight ET, a release went out announcing ticket sales information.
Tickets for the fight are priced at $10,000, $7,500, $5,000, $3,500, $2,500 and $1,500. However, none of the $10,000 seats will be available for public purchase. Tickets for the fight go on sale Thursday at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m PT. They can be purchased at mgmgrand.com, ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-300. Buyers are limited to four tickets per person.
The closed circuit tickets, which will be shown only at MGM properties in Las Vegas, go on sale Thursday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. Tickets can be purchased at the individual hotels' box offices or by calling either 866-799-7711 or 800-745-3000. Closed circuit tickets are $150 apiece plus taxes and fees. Buyers are limited to eight closed circuit tickets apiece.
The closed circuit viewing of the fight will be available at the MGM, Bellagio, Aria, Vdara, The Signature, Mandalay Bay, Delano, Monte Carlo, Mirage, New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur and Circus Circus in Las Vegas. It will also be available at all other MGM Resorts properties around the world.
There will be between 35,000 and 50,000 closed circuit seats available in Las Vegas, with the figure closer to the higher end. However, the sale of tickets to the live event will be extremely small and likely only to be around 500.
One person who may have helped push the sides toward an agreement is Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). While Arum was at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood watching Pacquiao train recently, he received a call from Reid. Arum is a long-time financial backer of Reid's and Reid has credited Pacquiao's late campaign appearance on his behalf in 2010 for enabling him to defeat Sharron Angle and win re-election to the Senate.
Reid told Arum he was hoping to buy tickets for himself and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), another avid boxing fan.
Arum said he told Reid about the ticket issue and so Reid phoned MGM Resorts president Bill Hornbuckle. A Reid spokeswoman gave Yahoo Sports a statement about his involvement in the private business deal.
"Senator Reid considers it part of his basic responsibility as Nevada’s senator to put Nevada first and fight for Nevada’s economy," said Kristen Orthman, Reid's deputy communications director. "He has had a number of discussions to ensure the success of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, as he should because that’s his job. This is a fight that fans – Sen. Reid included – have wanted for years and will potentially bring in hundreds of millions into the state’s economy – so of course he would do everything he can to help make sure it happens."