Mayweather, Pacquiao bout expected to set records

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The MGM Grand is a sellout for the May 2, world championship welterweight unification fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, an event that is shaking up as a record setter in more ways than one, according to people familiar with preparations.

MGM President Scott Sibella said the MGM has never seen demand like this before. Rates for rooms available to the public are starting at $1,600 for the nights of May 1 and 2. But many of the rooms in the 50,000-room inventory at MGM-owned hotels along the Strip will go to gamblers with credit lines large enough to warrant a comped room.

“This is the highest room rate in a long time, Sibella said. “People want to be part of the energy and excitement.” Seating capacity for the fight in the MGM Grand Garden Arena is expected to be something north of 16,000.

Other frontline hotels along the Strip are also doing well as they prepare for thousands of visitors who are bringing a lot of discretionary spending power with them. The fact that the Kentucky Derby is also May 2, means race and sports books will both be full.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. He can be reached at PhilHevener@GamingToday.com.

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