Everything about the May 2 battle between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao involves money. Make that, lots and lots of money.
Even fight tickets, something that Pacquiao gave away to friends and friends of friends, will be hard to come by.
Top Rank chief Bob Arum said on Tuesday that “everyone’s buying his own ticket” to get into the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the 16,000-plus seat venue that will host the historic welterweight duel.
“I got a call from a (US) senator and a big celebrity and I told them I got no tickets. I am buying tickets as well,” said the 83-year-old Arum.
The priciest will reportedly sell for $5,000 although it could be more than that and the official price will be known during Wednesday’s press conference at the Nokia Theatre.
The MGM Grand is entitled to a share, while Mayweather Promotions, the lead organizer, also has a certain percentage guaranteed.
Even Top Rank and Pacquiao would get theirs but the number will be substantially lower compared to the previous fights.
In the past, Pacquiao also bought tickets in bulk to accommodate his entourage, friends, showbiz personalities from here and overseas as well as political bigwigs from the Philippines.
“Mabuti pa sa closed circuit na lang kayo,” Pacquiao told a handful people angling for free tickets.
Even the closed circuit viewing in MGM Grand-aligned properties along the Strip will come at a stiff price.
From the usual $50 to $60 dollars a pop, Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz said it could go up to about a hundred bucks.
Also, a television crew from the Philippines had to pay a hefty $1,500 (about R67,000) so it could gain a spot during Wednesday’s press conference starring Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather at the Nokia Theatre.
Sports reporter Dyan Castillejo and cameraman Val Cuenca said their company had to pay that amount to ensure they get a good look at the proceedings.
Normally, the media is not charged any amount to cover an event but owing to the magnitude of the May 2 bout, it had to be done and Castillejo was aghast.
Two other TV stations from Manila have dispatched coverage teams here with Connie Sison leading GMA and Chiqui Roa heading TV5.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks