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Ticket prices hot for Mayweather/Pacquiao fight


AP

Ticket prices hot for Mayweather/Pacquiao fight

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tickets are at such a premium to see Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao’s long-awaited matchup that all of those seated at ringside will be the recognizable, the rich – and the very lucky.

There should be no lack of celebrities. TV cameras will likely find Mayweather’s sidekick Justin Bieber, actor Jamie Foxx, who will sing the national anthem, and other artists in town for appearances at Vegas nightclubs for fight weekend – including Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and Nicki Minaj.

But even in Las Vegas where VIPs and high-rolling gamblers, the “whales” as they’re often called, are routinely “comped” with free hotel rooms and tickets, don’t assume most of the 16 800 or so ticket-holders got a free ride.

Saturday’s fight will be one of the most exclusive boxing events the destination has ever hosted. Only 500 tickets were offered to the public, and they sold in seconds.

Even two U.S. senators who had their boxing fan hearts set on seeing the matchup won’t be ringside.

Senator Harry Reid, Democrat-Nevada, a former boxer who reportedly helped nudge negotiations for the fight along when a dispute about ticket distribution issues threatened the event, is going to watch from Washington.

Senator John McCain, Republican-Arizona, an ardent fight fan who would have loved to go, will be watching from afar.

With the face value of ringside seats at $10 000, “It’s just a little pricey,” said McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo. And boxing fan or not, he’s still a member of Congress – no freebies allowed.

Those with a lucky streak have had a chance to win tickets, airfare and an extra $10 000 from fantasy sports betting site Fan Duel. If that didn’t work, one could pony up for a good cause.

One charity on eBay was auctioning a seat next to boxing legend Evander Holyfield along with airfare, hotel and dinner at a price that had already exceeded $40 000 Monday. Another, FanBacked.com, offered tickets for two via a contest offered by celebrity news host Mario Lopez with proceeds benefiting a children’s foundation in Orange County, California.

Those tickets all had to come from somewhere, namely fight host MGM Resorts, the two fighters’ promoters or cable channels HBO and Showtime, which have deals with the boxers. On the secondary market, brokers were trying to re-sell tickets for as much as $344 000 each.

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