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Hot! Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao Tickets Finally Go On Sale Today

Boxing fans have waited nearly six years to buy tickets to the ‘Fight of the Century’ as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao and their respective camps endured a series of roller coaster negotiations since 2009 to bring the two fighters into the ring together. So, what are a few more weeks? Tickets for the fight, which was agreed to in February, will finally go on sale today, only nine days before Mayweather and Pacquiao are set to square off at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 2.

Roughly 500 tickets will go up for sale via Ticketmaster on Thursday at 3 pm ET with a limit of four per household. They are priced at $1,500, $2,500, $3,500, $5,000 and $7,500, plus service charges. There are $10,000 ringside tickets, but they are not part of the public sale. The long-anticipated fight is expected to yield more than $70 million in gate receipts, compared to the previous record of $20 million for Mayweather’s 2013 fight against Canelo Alvarez.

The public sale is just a fraction of the capacity of the MGM, which seats 16,800. The remaining tickets are controlled by Top Rank, Mayweather Promotions and the MGM Grand. There are no freebies for this fight. Even Top Rank founder Bob Arum says he will pay for his ticket. HBO and Showtime, who are jointly putting on the pay-per-view, will have to buy tickets for their employees, cutting into their share of profits from the fight.

The ticket fiasco is just the latest sordid twist in the multi-year negotiations between Mayweather and Pacquiao. Negotiations sputtered over blood testing, a defamation lawsuit and the all important purse split. The distribution of tickets threatened to derail the fight up until this week as the MGM, Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank jockeyed for their share of tickets. The three parties did not have a signed contract until Wednesday night. Les Moonves, CEO of CBS CBS -0.11%, which owns Showtime and has Mayweather under contract, stepped in to help settle the dispute. Top Rank and Mayweather will each reportedly receive 30% of the tickets with the MGM controlling 40%.

The release of tickets is expected to flood the secondary market, which has moved slowly without tickets officially on sale. “The vast majority of buying activity won’t happen until after tickets officially go on sale and sell out,” says Connor Gregoire, an analyst with secondary ticket marketplace SeatGeek . There were only a few dozen tickets purchased so far on SeatGeek, which recently had 560 tickets listed for sale by brokers based on speculative selling. The median price on SeatGeek is $10,420.

Closed circuit tickets will go on sale at 6 pm on Thursday at a cost of $150. There are expected to be 50,000 closed circuit tickets available, but viewing is only available at MGM-owned properties, which include the Bellagio, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Mirage and others. The pay-per-view telecast will cost a record $89.95 and another $10 to watch in high-definition.

The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will likely shatter all of boxing’s financial records, including gate receipts ($20 million), PPV buys (2.5 million), PPV revenue ($152 million) and total revenue ($200 million). The bout is expected to gross more than $400 million with both fighters looking at career paydays of more than $100 million. Mayweather earned more than $70 million for his fight against Alvarez, which was the previous high for a boxing match. The purse will be split 60-40 in favor of Mayweather.

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