The fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao on May 2 is expected to be the biggest boxing match ever, with tickets starting at $1,500—creating a minimum return of more than $70 million before a punch is thrown or anyone pays to watch the fight on pay-per-view at no less than $90 a pop.
Tickets are going for an average of $8,000 on the ticket exchange site, SeatGeek. There are some on sale on the site right now for $19,000—per ticket. But there are no tickets. Buyers are bidding on “spec tickets” sold by people who don’t have them yet, but think they’ll get them. With two weeks to go before the fight, the venue still hasn’t put any actual tickets up for sale.
This is extremely unusual; reports attribute the delay to a dispute over how many of the highly-valuable tickets will be distributed to each fighter’s camp. The MGM Grand, which is hosting the fight, has ominously warned that “buyers should use extra caution when purchasing alleged tickets from unofficial sources, for fraudulent or counterfeit tickets will not be accepted.” And Bloomberg says that fans should brace themselves for the possibility that tickets may never go on sale to the public.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, has heard of people cancelling their trips to Las Vegas because they’re afraid they can’t get tickets, The Guardian reported. “This is not acceptable. This is a worldwide event that the city of Las Vegas is involved in. It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen.”
While the two camps sort it out, and boxing fans around the world wait to find out if they’ll be able to get tickets at all on the price-inflated secondary markets, Pacquiao and Mayweather face the small matter of training for the biggest fight of their lives.