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Gaming Guru

Alan Snel
 

MGM Grand Las Vegas room rates for fight weekend start at $1,600

23 March 2015

LAS VEGAS -- Boxing’s richest fight ever also means riches for the bout’s host hotel.

MGM Grand Las Vegas, the host hotel-casino for the megaboxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquaio on May 2, expects a 35 percent revenue windfall from the fight weekend compared to the room, food and beverage revenues on a typical weekend.

MGM Grand President Scott Sibella said 98 percent of the hotel’s 6,800 rooms are booked, with room rates, as of Friday, starting at $1,600 a night for May 1 and 2.

Right after the fight was announced on Feb. 20, room rates for May 1 and 2 shot up to $900-$1,000 a night, Sibella said. At that time a month ago, a computer glitch had made it appear as if MGM Grand was booked for those two nights, but the website has been fixed.

For comparison purposes, a Saturday-night room booked at MGM Grand for two weeks after the fight on May 16 was selling for $338, according to booking.com on Friday.

“The demand, we’ve never seen it like this before,” Sibella said Friday. “People want to be part of all the excitement and energy. We’re pretty close to sold out. This is the highest (room) rate in a long, long time.”

MGM Resorts International, which owns the most hotel-casino properties along the Strip, including MGM Grand, has 50,000 rooms in its inventory to help handle the crush of visitors that weekend, Sibella said.

Sibella said the seat configuration at the MGM Grand Garden Arena is still being crafted, but he noted capacity should approach 16,800 for the fight.

Up and down the Strip, casino-hotels are filling up with reservations for the fight weekend, which is six weeks away. The Kentucky Derby is also set for May 2, so the Strip’s sports books are expected to be packed, too.

“As of yesterday, you could not book rooms at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino and The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino for that weekend,” said Ron Reese, a spokesman for Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns those hotels.

Reese offered an anecdote to show the fight’s impact on room rates for that weekend.

“I’m on a nonprofit board that had a scheduled meeting on the weekend of the fight and they had to reschedule because of the cost of the hotel rooms were so much. It would have been a bad use of the nonprofit’s funds to conduct business in Las Vegas that weekend,” Reese said.

Sibella said MGM Grand officials are already working on security issues and talking with Metro about safety for fight weekend. He expects hotel staffing to be beefed up by 5 percent to 10 percent to handle the crowds.

The world championship welterweight unification fight is expected to have at least a $200 million purse. With Mayweather receiving 60 percent in the 60/40 split, he can expect a pay day of at least $120 million. The bout is expected to also break records for pay-per-view buys and revenues.

Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, issued this statement on the fight’s financial impacts: “The fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is being dubbed the biggest boxing event in history. Boxing typically draws a substantial crowd to Las Vegas, and because of the years of hype surrounding this particular match-up, we could see even bigger crowds than usual.”
MGM Grand Las Vegas room rates for fight weekend start at $1,600 is republished from CasinoVendors.com.